FC Utrecht 2 v 3 ADO Den Haag
ADO returned to action after the International football break and after the furore of the Immers chant scandal which has ruled out the influential player for this and the next three matches. Utrecht away was a tough game to return to and how would the players respond after the break? Well the first half was a bit boring to say the least, but the second half, someone lit the touch paper and the game exploded into another five goal thriller. The lucky 250 ADO fans allowed in enjoyed themselves immensely, singing their hearts out and with most of them wearing T-Shirts in support of the suspended Lex Immers it was a joyful atmosphere..
For the first thirty minutes Utrecht were the dominant team; Frank Demouge being the thorn in ADO’s side from the start, a big, powerful man who was difficult to knock off the ball. It was he who eventually helped to unlock the ADO defence in the thirty third minute.
ADO tried to keep possession in Utrecht’s half, but when this broke down, Utrecht broke quickly. The ball played wide left to Dries Mertens, he beat two lame ADO challenges, his ball inside caused confusion and the ball was lofted into the air. Demouge knocked the ball down to where Edouard Duplan was lurking, his first time swivelling right foot volley beat Coutinho and hit the back of the net. A well deserved goal from their pressure, 1-0.
ADO got a quick equaliser. Five minutes after the restart, a long kick by Coutinho was well controlled by Bulykin half way inside the Utrecht half. A one touch knock back to Radosavljevic who in turn played an instant ball out wide right to Toornstra. A quick look up was all he needed to play in a first time cross into the penalty area, beating all the Utrecht defence as Vicento came running in unmarked to sweep the ball home; a stunning display of one touch football by ADO, 1-1.
The second half started in much the same as the first. Utrecht being the more purposeful and on two occasions Demouge found himself with a clear shot on goal, only to misfire and waste both openings, chances that were soon to be ruefully missed.
In the sixty second minute ADO played some nice interchange football between Derijck, Bulykin and Verhoek, the latter getting to the by-line to whip in a cross to the penalty area. As if from nowhere Radosavljevic arrived in acres of space to easily head the ball past a very angry Vorm in the Utrecht goal, 1-2.
Five minutes later and ADO increased their lead. A free-kick taken by Bosschaart was well chest controlled by Bulykin who then lobbed the ball forward to Vicento, as he collected the ball Tim Cornelisse got into a slight tangle with him. Vicento fell to the floor and the referee awarded a penalty. I have to say that the decision was a bit harsh in my opinion. Bulykin placed the ball on the spot and then right footed struck a low shot wide to the keepers left to make it 1-3.
After Ado’s third goal had gone in, the temperature of the game rose. There were plenty of rough tackles flying in, taking no prisoners and a few yellow cards were handed out in quick succession as the match became a stop, start affair.
From seventy minutes on, Vicento seemed to lose the plot totally. He looked as though he was having his own private battle with Utrecht’s players. Firstly he caught Cornelisse with an elbow to the head. Two minutes later, for reasons known only to him, he appeared to kick out at Kevin Strootman when the ball was nowhere near them, this foul earning him a yellow card. Then, just a minute later, he mis-controlled a pass from Verhoek, in an effort to recover the ball he went through the legs of Nana Asare, earning himself a second yellow card and a red, ADO then down to ten men for the final fifteen minutes.
Two minutes after the dismissal Utrecht got a goal back. A corner from the right was punched away by Coutinho. The ball fell to the edge of the box and Strootman lashed a ball fiercely into the back of the ADO net giving Coutinho no chance, stunning strike, 2-3.
For the final fifteen minute it was all hands to the rescue for ADO as Utrecht piled on the pressure. ADO just could not keep the ball away from their own half. Utrecht upped the tempo and tried in vain to get the equalising goal. As the final whistle blew the Utrecht players looked dejected. In all fairness, a draw would have been a fair result for both teams. As the Uttrecht players consoled each other, the ADO players went across to their fans in the corner of the stadium to celebrate with them. As I watched I could see that Verhoek and Derijck really love their fans, the bond they have with them is undeniable and really great to see. So ADO wins again, shocking the football experts
ADO man of the match: Derijck, he certainly made his presence felt, worked so tirelessly throughout the game.