ADO Den Haag thrashed by AZ Alkmaar
A freezing Kyocera stadion welcomed the players onto the pitch where I think many did not want to be due to the below freezing temperatures. I am sure all would have been happier watching television with a hot cup of Chocomel at home. The ground staff at ADO had worked miracles to get this game on, so credit where it is due for their efforts. As it turned out, most people wished they had not done such a good job, as a nightmare unfolded before the fans eyes.
The big surprise news in team selection was that Lex Immers has had the captaincy taken from him and given to the goal keeper Gino Coutinho. Immers has stated recently he wants to leave ADO at the end of the season, so I believe the captains’ armband was rightly taken off him.
The first half was pretty much an even affair. The battle was in midfield and ADO looked to be edging the contest, as Chery, Boussaboun, Visser and Vicento continually drove forward, putting AZ on the back foot.
Despite the amount of attacking possession ADO had, they suffered again from their lack of fire power in front of goal. This came to haunt them in the thirty third minute when A cross was allowed by Horvath to reach the head of Charlison Benschop who beat Coutinho easily, 0-1.
That was pretty much the rest of the action for the first half, a lot of toing and froing, but nothing of real skill could be found to unlock either defence.
Two minutes into the second half and the nightmare began for the home side. Maarten Martens played the ball simply to Benschop who fired home is second goal of the game, all too easy for the visitors, 0-2.
In the fiftieth minute ADO threatened the AZ goal after Chery forced a save out of Esteban. Coutinho had his wits about him to prevent Benschop getting his hat-trick, saving at his near post.
In the sixty eighth minute a surprise substitution when Steijn took off Kevin Visser and replaced him with new man Ebi Smolarek. Visser had been playing ok, but at 0-2 down, replacing him seemed an odd decision.
One minute after the substitution Benschop got his hat-trick. AZ forced their way too easily through ADO’s backline allowing the striker to drive forward and slot the ball into the far corner, you could visibly see ADO heads drop to their chests, 0-3.
After the third goal had gone in, it became all too simple for AZ top pick ADO off at any time they wished. The heart had gone. AZ’s fourth goal came in the seventy third minute. A defence splitting pass allowed Martens to finish off after beating Coutinho, 0-4.
For around ten minutes Verhoek, Chery and Vicento gave the ADO some rest bite by taking the game back to AZ. They huffed and puffed and forced a couple of save from the AZ keeper, but nothing really threatened the goal to any extent. Vicento having the best of the chances to get ADO on the scoreboard, but Esteban was out quickly to block his effort. Immers also forced an all too easy save from AZ’s keeper.
In the final five minutes AZ substitute Jozy Altidore scored twice as ADO’s defence capitulated. Errors were creeping in throughout the ADO back four. N’Toko and Luksik were weak in their play. You could only feel sorry for Coutinho on his debut as captain as his defence crumbled in front of him.
Up until the fifth goal went in the home support were still getting behind their team. The atmosphere down the long side and behind the goal was amazing when you consider what they were watching. As the last two goals went in the atmosphere changed. The fans were seeing their team basically give up the fight and the cheering turned to boos of anger. A chant of “Ik schaam me dood” literally translated means “I am shamed to death” echoed around then stands.
I thought it amazing that after watching such a torrid performance in below freezing temperatures, most fans remained in the places to watch until the final whistle. AS the whistle blew the fans vented their ire towards the players. All but two disappeared down the tunnel. Only Toornstra and Ammi had the guts to face the supporters at the end and applauded them for their loyalty.
It was a dreadful display by ADO and things must change soon. On Sunday they travel to FC Utrecht, a team high on confidence after beating Ajax in Amsterdam.
ADO man of the match: John Verhoek, played with fight and passion until the end.
Attendance: 8, 756