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First Team

Berghuis kicks off Advocaat era

Dick Advocaat celebrated a victory in his first game in charge of Feyenoord on Sunday. His new side were too strong for VVV-Venlo at their De Koel stadium, running our 3-0 winners. MVP was the club’s new captain Steven Berghuis, who scored two goals.

Handing Berghuis the captain’s role was one of Advocaat’s most eye-catching moves in his first week in charge. Another was a recall at the back for Jan-Arie van der Heijden, a decision made easier by the injury-induced absence of Eric Botteghin. In midfield, the new head coach went for Jens Toornstra, Leroy Fer and Orkun Kökcü, with Berghuis joined by Luis Sinisterra and Nicolai Jørgensen up top.

It was the Dane who opened the scoring on 18 minutes. He controlled Kenneth Vermeer’s clearance with his chest, playing the ball in the air to Toornstra, who returned it to Jørgensen on the ground. He finished with aplomb, placing his effort beyond the reach of home keeper Thorsten Kirschbaum and into the net.

Berghuis doubled the lead going into the last quarter of the half. He was initially fortunate to gain possession, but the ball bounced up nicely in front of him. He immediately pulled the trigger, his shot arching impressively into the left-hand corner with Kirschbaum reduced to the role of a spectator.

Two-ahead, Feyenoord tightened their grip on the game, with VVV-Venlo unable to respond in any meaningful way. The hosts did look more likely to break through Feyenoord’s lines in the second half, not least because of some sloppy passing by the visitors. But the task got harder for the home side on 68 minutes, when Christian Kum was shown his second yellow card.

Although the ten men continued to probe, it would be in vein, as the third goal, when it came, fell to Feyenoord. Substitute Luciano Narsingh’s cross hit a defender’s hand and referee Kevin Blom awarded a spot kick. Berghuis stepped up to convert to give Advocaat a 3-0 victory in his first match as Feyenoord head coach.