A night that football came second.
Last night in the Kyocera stadium, football came second in what was a very emotional, tearful night. Yet the evening started with a great display by the ADO “FAN SUPPORT group. The fans behind the goal set off fireworks before producing a huge banner that stretched 50m celebrating ten years of the groups’ existence. It was a truly awesome sight.
The game kicked of and then as the stadium clocked entered the eighth minute, a banner was revealed on the Midden Noord marking the death of Princess Gillian, who lost her battle against cancer on the 2nd. A two minute standing ovation of wild applause was then followed by a stirring rendition of “You’ll never walk alone” the stadium was full of scarves and tearful faces as the memory of this special ADO supporter hit everybody hard. Has to be said, it was not only the ADO fans paying tribute, the fans of FC Groningen also offering their condolences and joining in the memorial to a very special brave young girl.
During the eighth minute applause, ADO almost took the lead. Immers made a strong run down the left, beating two defenders before crossing the ball into the box, Smolarek was able to get a clean strike on the ball, only to see his effort superbly saved by Luciano Da Silva.
ADO were the only side attacking and they managed to create several good chances to take the lead but bad finishing let them down.
Charlton Vicento opened the scoring in the thirty eighth minute. A cross in from the left by Supusepa saw Vicento rise above the Groningen keeper and defender Tim Sparv and head the ball into an empty net, 1-0.
The first half slowed down slower and slower until the referee blew for the break.
The second half was similar to the first, very slow and boring mostly, yet ADO were the only side creating any goal scoring opportunities.
ADO eventually got what their endeavours deserved. Two goals, the first from a powerful header by Omeruo after a cross from Chery on the right in the fifty ninth minute, 2-0.
The game slowed again for another twenty minutes until the seventy ninth minute. A throw in by Chery was headed on firstly by Immers and then Vicento. The ball fell to the floor where Smolarek managed to force the ball over the line from close range, bravely going in towards the keeper, 3-0.
The game settled down and ADO made substitutions, giving the players a break as there is a busy schedule ahead. The only shock was when Ali Boussaboun came onto the pitch to replace Smolarek in the final few minutes and was booed loudly by the supporters. However, his name was chanted when he lined up to take a free-kick a short time later.
The crowd erupted as the referee Tom van Sichem blew the final whistle. It had been an emotional night all around for ADO, yet the task was made far easier than it should have been, simply because FC Groningen had travelled to ADO with what looked like no attacking options what so ever. They only had two chances, both of which never forced Coutinho to make a save.
This result and the fact that VVV Venlo lost 1-3 to Vitesse now means ADO have jumped up to 14th place in the league with a seven point gap between themselves and the relegation play-offs with five games remaining. Venlo have the much tougher run in, which with fingers crossed, means ADO will be safe for another Eredivisie season next time around.
Attendance: 10, 134
ADO Man of the Match: Lex Immers, was forcing all that was good about ADO going forward.