‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Feyenoord and Fulham shared four goals at De Kuip Sunday, as the sides played out an entertaining draw in the traditional preseason friendly. After trekking through most of Western Europe in the past week, the Rotterdammers returned to base and Dirk Kuyt continued his impressive run with both home-side goals in the baking heat, the second from the penalty spot. The game also saw the return of Chong Gug Song, who came off the bench in the second half.
Feyenoord made the best possible start with an early goal for Kuyt, who
latched onto a long ball from Glenn Loovens, before lobbing keeper Van der
Sar on five minutes.
In a free-flowing game the next chance was for the Premiership side. Cole
saw his effort tipped onto the post by Babos and incredibly when the ball
rebounded back to Cole he found the post against with his second effort.
Feyenoord were accordion-like. Compact and quick to get behind the ball when
out of possession, but expansive as soon as they had the ball.
Gullit's side seemed to be calling the tune, until two players tried to play
it by ear. Gyan was skinned by Radzinski, whose effort squeezed under the
despairing Babos for the equaliser on 21 minutes. It was the Hungarian's
first mistake of preseason and the international was quick to make up for
it, turning away John's hard drive ten minutes later.
Feyenoord continued to beat out the rhythm of the game however, and finally
got the crowd singing again just before the break. Two cast-iron chances had
already gone begging when Pearce decided to provide a helping hand, slapping
away a Smolarek cross in the area right at the death. Kuyt stepped up and
converted the penalty to put the home side 2-1 up at the turnaround.
The second half marked the return of Song, while Castelen and Magrão were
also given pitch time, but it was Fulham that got the next goal. The English
side carved up the Rotterdam defence and Jensen slotted home to level things
at 2-2 with 49 minutes on the clock.
The fat lady wasn't singing yet, but Feyenoord almost had her humming twice
in close succession. Kuyt and Buffel both spurned their chances however, and
the former even had another bite of the cherry not long after, but he was
unable to make the most of a fine through-ball from Song.
As the half wore on Gullit introduced Kalou for Buffel and then Lazovic for
Kuyt, but the new strike force were unable to break the deadlock, despite
some good pressure and the match ended all honours even.
Feyenoord-Fulham 2-2 (1-1)
5' 1-0 Kuyt
21' 1-1 Radzinski
45' 2-1 Kuyt (penalty)
49' 2-2 Jensen
Babos; Gyan (45' Song), Loovens, Paauwe, Mtiliga (Magrão); Smolarek
(Castelen), Ghaly, Bosschaart, Goor; Buffel (65' Kalou), Kuyt (73' Lazovic).