‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Feyenoord won their first prize of the new campaign with a penalty shootout victory against Betis Seville Thursday after the sides played out a 1-1 draw over ninety minutes. The Rotterdammers fell behind to a first-half Alfonso strike, but Danko Lazovic levelled things up at the start of the second period. However, coach Gullit will be concerned about his Serbian striker, who left the game not long after with a knee complaint. He’ll know more when the group returns to Rotterdam Friday.
Feyenoord were all change from the side that saw off Tottenham Hotspur Tuesday. Babos, Paauwe, Bosschaart, Smolarek, Goor, Buffel and Kuyt were all rested. Sunday’s De Kuip friendly against Fulham and the searing Seville sun probably had much to do with that decision. When the game got underway at 9.45pm local time, the temperature was still up round the 30 degree Celsius mark.
The first real chance of the night fell to Feyenoord. Pardo, partnering Ghaly in the engine room, sent Lazovic with a fine diagonal ball. The striker got away from keeper Doblas before rattling in a strike from a tight angle that looked like finding the net until some attentive defending saw the ball kicked off the line.
That was the Rotterdammers’ best chance of the half. As the game progressed, Ruud Gulllit’s relatively inexperienced side felt the pressure as a physically strong Betis took control
The visitors were also giving the ball away too often. The result was a Spanish goal on 23 minutes. Alfonso got between Loovens and Van den Berg to head the home side into the lead.
Keeper Lodewijks managed to keep his side in the match in that first period, including a fantastic reflex on 40 that kept out an Alfonso effort.
Feyenoord were level within five minutes of the restart. Lazovic was alert enough to intercept a hesitant Pablo Niño ball, making for the Spanish goal and finishing with aplomb.
It was Lazovic’s best moment in the game, and one of his last too, as the Serb injured his right knee in a tussle and was forced off, with Buffel coming off the bench.
Gianni Zuiverloon, who had taken over from Gyan at the start of the half, was unlucky enough to give away a penalty not long after. The youngster slipped as he attempted to pressurise his opponent and instinctively grabbed hold of the Betis man. But happily Alfonso spurned the chance to put the home side back in the lead, firing over from the spot.
Lodewijks was called into action before the final whistle when Oliveira threatened, and the game went to penalties. The wily keeper saved the third Spanish kick in the shootout, setting it up for Buffel to slot home the winning penalty and give Feyenoord the Kappa Cup.
Real Betis Sevilla-Feyenoord 1-1 (Feyenoord win on pens)
23’ 1-0 Alfonso
48’ 1-1 Lazovic
Dani 2-2 (saved)
Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Gyan (46’ Zuiverloon), Van den Berg, Loovens, Mtiliga; Castelen, Ghaly, Pardo, Magrão; Kalou, Lazovic (55’ Buffel).