ADO 4 v 2 Roda JC Play-off 1st leg semi-final.
I spoke to some ADO fans on the way to the stadium and their feelings were in agreement with my own. What ADO team would turn up? Had the ADO bubble burst and now back to the ADO of last season? Easy to pick off and dominate? Were the play-offs to be a step too far for the local team after such an amazing season?
Last night was really squeaky bum time in the Kyocera stadion. There was a tense atmosphere building up long before the kick-off outside the stadium and increased inside as the kick-off time approached. There was a tangible air of dread about what the night would bring. What was making it even worse was the fact that ADO was missing three players from their selection, Bosschaart, Kum and the highly influential Verhoek; Verhoek being the biggest miss of all as he is normally the ADO engine and main supplier of goal assists. There was other news about the team selection I discovered was that Buijs and Rankovic had been found guilty of break club discipline and therefore the manager John van den Brom had decided the punishment to be banning them from the first team. What the breach of club discipline was nobody outside of the club seems to know.
The crowd was no where near a sell out; the timing of the kick-off plus the problems getting home after the game due to work on the tram lines 3 and 4 probably to blame. Those who did turn up however witnessed a great game of football; game in which the ADO of a month ago turned up on the pitch.
ADO went straight at the Roda defence, this was a team looking hungry for a goal from the start and soon enough it came, in the third minute a cross in from the right by Ammi saw Immers find space between two defenders, his instant shot was well saved by Mateusz Prus, only for the rebound to go back to Immers who this time made no mistake by hammering the ball back into the back of the net, 1-0.
In the eleventh minute ADO were given the ball by Roda as Willem Janssen casually gave the ball away i the centre circle. Immers was on to the ball and was followed by Kubik. Immers played the ball into the area for Kubik to run on to, he then rounded the keeper; the ball looked to be going out, yet from such a tight angle, Kubik squeezed the ball through the smallest of gaps to give ADO a valuable two goal lead.
The fans could not believe their eyes and it was soon to get better. In the twenty third minute ADO broke down the left. Bulykin played the ball wide to Vicento who then retuned the ball to Bulykin now inside then penalty box. A quick look up and Bulykin smashed a thunderous shot past a helpless Prus to make it ADO 3 Roda 0.
It all looked to be going so easy for ADO until Roda managed to pull am goal back in the twenty sixth minute. A long hopeful ball played forward from the half-way line saw Roda’s only forward Mortin Skoubo get his head to the ball and watch his own effort loop high over the finger tips of Coutinho and just fractionally under the cross bar from some distance out, 3-1.
ADO got their three goal cushion back in the fortieth minute; Ammi and Bulykin working there way down the right. Finally Bulykin became the provider as his crossed into the box where Vicento far too easily beat the Roda defence and keeper to make it 4-1.
All was looking great for ADO as half-time approached. As the game moved into first half stoppage time Bulykin had a mad rush of blood to the head. His two footed lunge on Davy de Fauw caught him just above the ankle sending him flying. It looked bad and the referee had no real choice apart from showing the Russian a straight red, leaving ADO down to ten men for the entire second half.
The second half began again with ADO doing all the pressurizing. It was only thanks to Roda’s goal keeper being in such great form that the score remained 4-1 during the first fifteen minutes of the period; he pulled off some world class saves preventing what could have easily been a 7-1 lead for ADO. The way ADO was playing you could not tell they were playing with one player missing.
The crowd loved it, despite being less in number than has been the norm, the noise they made was fantastic, the flags were out, the players having their names chanted, it was all looking so rosy for the Haagenaars.
As the second half progressed, the match began to even out; Roda desperately searching for a goal to get them back in the tie and ADO holding the ball as much as possible in central midfield. As the clock passed the Haagse Kwartiertje, Roda began to pour forward at every given opportunity and eventually their pressure got its reward.
Seventy eight minutes played and Roda got a corner on the right. Ruud Vormer swung in a cross towards the penalty spot. The ADO defence looked static as Rihairo climbed well above those around him to powerfully head home and give the visitors hope in the return fixture, 4-2.
After the final whistle there was three presentations awarded; Kevin Visser most talented new comer, Dmitry Bulykin for being ADO’s top scorer and finally Wesley Verhoek for being ADO’s player of the season; all the players receiving a great ovation from the supporters. Hopefully ADO will get through to the next round of the play-offs and Bulykin will be able to play at least one more time in front of the home support who loves him so much. Nobody wants to remember his last game, if indeed it is, to be one in which he was sent off.
ADO man of the match: Charlton Vicento. Got himself a goal and was a constant threat throughout the game, forcing the opposition into a few great saves to prevent ADO taking an even bigger lead into the second leg.