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Kalou double propels Feyenoord

Wednesday, 1 December 2004

[1] Two first-half goals from Salomon Kalou helped Feyenoord secure their place in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup, as they came from behind to beat FC Schalke 04.

Kalou double

[2] Kalou combined with Dirk Kuijt to score twice in eight minutes after Mike Hanke had given Schalke the lead seven minutes into this Group A encounter.

Hanke opener

[3] Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick, with his side already assured of a place in the last 32 before kick-off, took the opportunity to rest both Ebbe Sand and Gerald Asamoah. It did not seem to matter as replacement Hanke took his chance by opening the scoring. Against the run of play, after a bright start from the home side, Hanke prodded the ball in from a metre out after Christian Poulsen had flicked a Sven Vermant corner into his path.

Kuijt drive

[4] Feyenoord were dominating much of the possession in an increasingly open encounter and went close 16 minutes in when a Kuijt pile-driver from a free-kick forced Frank Rost to palm over. They were still struggling with corners, however, and could have fallen further behind when Poulsen's flicked header landed just on top of the goal.

Quick goals

[5] They survived and 12 minutes later were on level terms. Kuijt slid a perfectly weighted ball into the path of Kalou and the Ivorian international evaded the challenge of Tomasz Waldoch before guiding a shot just inside the post. The pair were proving a deadly combination and eight minutes later turned the game around to put Feyenoord in front. Kuijt chipped a sublime pass from the right to Kalou who scored with a diving header into the bottom corner of Rosts net.

Wasted chance

[6] However, between the two goals Schalke squandered a great chance of their own when a long ball found the Feyenoord defence sleeping and Hanke blasted a shot straight at goalkeeper Patrick Lodewijks. The chances still kept coming in a frantic last ten minutes as the Kuijt-Kalou pairing combined again. Just a minute before the break, Kalou turned provider, sliding Kuijt through only for the 24-year-old to be denied by the legs of Rost.

Attacking intentions

[7] Schalke signalled their intentions at half-time by bringing Asamoah into the action and they began the second period more positively. Just five minutes in Hanke was denied by a superb Lodewijks save diving to his right. Then, on 67 minutes, he volleyed over after an ingenius flick to create the chance himself.

Missed chances

[8] As the German side went forward, Feyenoord looked to take advantage on the counterattack and squandered two great chances to finish the game when substitute Thomas Buffel and then Romeo Castelen failed to take advantage when clean through on goal.

Feyenoord on top

[9] It mattered not though as the Dutch side repelled Schalke's attacks to hold on for the victory they needed, and to go top of Group A with one matchday remaining, when they complete their campaign away to FC Basel 1893.

Christian Gyan of Feyenoord with Schalke's Michael Delura