ADO v N.E.C. Nijmegen
After dropping points in their last two matches, ADO Den Haag returned to winning ways on Saturday night. A full house witnessed an ADO team back in form and losing the stroke of bad luck that followed them last weekend at NAC Breda.
The crowd were buoyant and excitable before a ball was kicked. The atmosphere inside the stadium was pure electric. The crowd however were treated to a dire first fifteen minutes as both teams had a sense of urgency but no skill to add to it. There were so many passes that were sent astray, a distinct lack of communication within both teams; it looked as though it was going to be a very bad game indeed.
In the sixteenth minute, ADO and the game came to life. ADO were awarded a free-kick just inside their own half. Radosavljevic took the kick quickly placing the ball in behind the defence of NEC. Immers was judged to be onside and took his chance, his first touch was sublime and then a stab forward with his right boot saw the ball flash into the back of the net, 1-0.
As normally happens after a goal is scored; the scoring team lack a bit of concentration, ADO fell at that point, within thirty seconds of the restart NEC drew level. A long ball forward saw Immers getting caught in possession just outside the penalty box. Ramon Zomer got a foot in and the ball luckily fell into the path of the Eredivisie’s top scores Bjorn Vleminckx. His control was instant and a well controlled touch allowed hi to place the ball beyond the reach of Coutinho; a wonderful finish by a player at the top of his game, 1-1.
During the following ten minutes ADO took complete control. They upped their gear and went for NEC mercilessly. Bulykin was denied a clear cut penalty after being hacked at knee height in the penalty area. Buijs saw a clear chance wasted as he hit a shot over the bar from only three metres out. Panic ensued in the NEC penalty when a cross came in causing Bram Nuytinck to crash the ball against his own cross bar when not really under any pressure.
In the twenty sixth minute ADO were awarded a free kick wide on the left hand side. Verhoek as per usual was the man to take it. As the ball came into the box Buijs was clearly being held back by Nathaniel Will. As soon as Buijs hit the floor, the referee Tom van Siehem pointed to the spot. Bulykin placed the ball on the spot and calmly placed a right foot shot in to the right hand side of the goal, beating Jasper Cillessen comfortably, 2-1.
The rest of the half slowed and became more of a sparring match, the ball rarely leaving the midfield battle. ADO was unlucky to be only one goal to the good as the half time whistle blew.
Straight from the kick-off ADO came out all guns blazing. Buijs got the ball in the penalty area only to see his shot saved by the feet of Cillessen. In the following thirty seconds of mayhem ADO twice crossed the ball into the penalty area and finally the ball fell to Buijs again who saw his shot turned away by a very bust Cillessen in the NEC goal.
In the forty eighth minute ASDO got the goal they deserved. Verhoek took a corner on the right, the ball coming back out to him on the edge of the area. Two touches to set him self; before he unleashed a wonderful curling effort low into the back of the net. A beautifully executed shot by ADO’s in form player, 3-1.
Fifty minutes played and ADO continued to pile on the pressure. Buijs was again being the thorn in the side of NEC, as he was fouled yet again just outside the penalty box. Toornstra was the man this time to take up the firing duty. It took the referee quite some time to get the defensive wall back far enough from the dead ball. Both sides I believe were expecting a cross, but Toornstra was thinking different and instead struck his stunning shot, right footed into the roof of the net 4-1.
The crowd within the Kyocera stadium were ecstatic. The volume was literally deafening as all sides of the ground joined in the singing, something I had never witnessed before at an ADO home game.
On the hour NEC almost pulled a goal back, a swift move down the right saw Lorenzo Davids break free. Inside the penalty he easily beat Coutinho and fired what looked to be NEC’s second goal, only for Bosschaart to get himself in the way to clear the ball to safety.
With just under five minutes to go NEC were reduced to ten men on the pitch after a wild two footed lunge by Niki Zimling left Radosavljevic with blood a nasty cut on his shin through his shin pads. No question about the decision as he received a straight red; there were no arguments from his team mates either.
In the ninety second minute ADO completed their easy victory. Verhoek took a free-kick on the left and dropped the ball on to the head of Jody Brouwer. His semi-deflected movement caused the ball to dip inside the post leaving Cillessen stranded and helpless. This was Brouwer’s first goal for ADO since joining from Liverpool in the winter transfer window, 5-1.
At the final whistle the crowd went crazy, chants of ADO are going into Europe rang around the stadium, quickly followed by the ADO favourite Liberte. The players danced and congaed their way around te pitch enjoying the adulation.
In the press conference after the game, Manager of ADO, John van den Brom praised the crowd, stating that as far as he knew, it was the first time ever that a Mexican wave went completely around the stadium. All sides joined in and the noise created was amazing; a sign that the team are doing something right. A fact he was more than happy to talk about at length; a very happy manager indeed.
ADO man of the match: A real hard decision, but as I must choose a player, I go for Verhoek, the player is a constant threat, and his drive makes ADO tick.
Attendance: 14,200, only the lack of visiting supporters prevented it from being a sell out.