ADO Den Haag against PSV and the Referee.
Well it is early November, the sky was blue, the sun shining and a cold still air enveloped the ADO stadium. Then twenty seconds in to the match, Christmas arrived. The referee began handing cards out to everybody; a total of five in the first fifteen minutes. Yes, maybe some tackles were a little late, but nothing malicious in any of them. This refereeing performance set the standard for the game and perhaps ADO should have realized then and there that it was not to be there day. In fact it turned out to be a disastrous day.
From the start, PSV were the dominant side: They looked full of hunger and fight for this match; unfortunately ADO was not up to the gauntlet thrown down to them by the visitors. ADO could not get out of there own half as PSV swarmed forward. Ten minutes in and the inevitable happened, PSV took a deserved lead. Danko Lazovic receives the ball on the left side of midfield. He took his time to look up before playing the ball into the penalty area. Ola Toivonen on the penalty spot controls and shoots in one movement, striking the ball left footed hard and low in to the back of the net, 0-1.
On fourteen minutes and after fourth yellow card PSV increased their lead. They sliced through a non-existent ADO defence like a hot knife through butter. Lazovic moves forward from his central midfield position and lays off a simple ball to the waiting Balazs Dzsudzsak who in turn plays a simple yet effective ball in to open space in the ADO penalty area for Toivonen to run on to, unmarked he places a right footed shot in to the back of the ADO goal: So simple and yet so efficient, 0-2.
Yet another yellow card interrupted proceedings as it looked as though the referee was trying to set a personal best for booking the most players in a half hour. In my opinion some of his decisions were farcical. After such an inept display by his team, the ADO manager Atteveld made a double substitution on thirty two minutes bringing on Van den Bergh and Pique for the ineffectual Horvath and Ammi. The new players lifted both the team and the crowd as they got in amongst the PSV players, who for the first time looked a little rattled. This lasted all of seven minutes as Van den Bergh got a straight red card for a tackle on PSV’s Afellay. It was a decision that beggared belief, a yellow yes, a red card, certainly not. ADO who was already suffering at a PSV onslaught: now had to do it with only ten players. The crowd was now not only livid with a very poor refereeing display, but also at their own teams’ lack of determination and spirit.
In the forty second minute, PSV’s forward Ola Toivonen grabbed his hat trick goal. He’ll never score an easier treble in his career. From a corner on the right, the ball is played short to Lazovic. Ditewig closes down quickly and blocks the cross from close range. The ball is knocked back in to the area where that man Lazovic is still lurking on the dead ball line. This time he clips the ball up over the ADO defence for Toivonen to nod home a simple header. The professional footballers perfect hat trick; left foot, right foot and a header.
In the final minutes of the first half PSV had a few clear cut opportunities to really make the first half an ugly embarrassment for the whole of the ADO team, management and fans. There was certainly a chorus of boos at the half time whistle, more directed at the less than useful performance of Roelof Luinge and his whistle than at the home players themselves.
The second half began in much the same way the first half had started. PSV despite being three goals up were out for more. Their fourth goal did come in the fifty first minute. Under no pressure at all, ADO give the ball away in midfield. Toivonen intercepts a lackadaisical pass and his direct pass forward finds Otman Bakkal. The ball is quickly moved out to the right to Lazovic via Ibrahim Afellay. The move is so quick that no defenders have back tracked in to the area. The cross from Lazovic is measured perfectly for Bakkal to volley home from five metres out, Ditewig standing no chance to prevent the ever increasing goal tally, 0-4.
Fifty eight minutes and things got even more surreal. Immers stretched in to a tackle on Danko Lazovic, it deserved a yellow card at worst. But the happy in his own little world referee decided to brandish a red one instead and also booked Ditewig for his protestations. The whole ground erupted in fury. The fans around the stadium began chanting derogatory songs about the referees parentage and life style choices. Then to the amazement of everybody, he blew his whistle and took himself and both sets of players off the pitch! An announcement over the public address system stated that the match would resume after fifteen minutes once the crowd had calmed down. How wrong they were. Stewards were sent into the Midden Noord supporters to eject the chanting ringleaders. How you can spot people who start the songs is beyond me, but in they went and unfortunately a bit of crowd disorder in that section ensued for a couple of minutes. Common sense prevailed and the stewards withdrew from that area and all calmed down very quickly. The sad thing about this incident is that it caused about half the supporters to leave the stadium.
So now with ADO down to nine men and facing a real thrashing they upped their game. They went for PSV, the crowd got behind them, urging them forward and amazingly in the seventy first minute Soltani pulled a goal back. Pique gains possession and plays the ball down the wing to Verhoek. He teases his way past PSV’s Carlos Salcido and lays the ball back to the edge of the penalty box. The timing was perfect and Soltani runs in without breaking stride to side foot the ball home, 1-4.
As ADO battled to salvage some pride they pushed on more and more, leaving space for PSV to get in around the back. It had to happen sooner or later and in the seventy forth minute PSV got their fifth goal. Bakkal and Dzsudzsak work the ball out wide down ADO’s right hand side. The ball is then cut back inside to Orlando Engelaar whose pin point cross his headed home easily by an unmarked Toivonen, taking his tally to four in the game and making the score 1-5. All too easy for PSV.
Haagse Kwartiertje was screamed out loud by those left with the stadium. It was too late for ADO now, but they got extra energy from somewhere and took the fight to PSV. It was a case of if only. I think if they wanted, PSV could have scored at will in the final ten minutes, but they were happy to sit back and let ADO come on to them like a punch drunk boxer. If it had been a boxing match, the towel would have been thrown in a long time before the final whistle, but ADO did dig deep and showed some passion and spirit at the end.
It was an eventful day to say the very least. In my own honest opinion, the referee ruined what could have been a very exciting encounter. I hope that those in charge; closely examine his performance and make him explain to all what was going on in his mind.
A bad day at the office for ADO, but not all of their own doing!
Man of the Match: Pique, at least when he came on he tried to make a difference.
Attendance 13, 963