RKC Waalwijk 1 v 0 ADO Den Haag
The outlook of most people affiliated to ADO Den Haag after the last few performances was that the team were on the up and that this was a game they could win, despite RKC producing some shock results throughout the campaign so far.
As it turned out, everybody was proven wrong and ended up very disappointed in the performance given by the team from The Hague.
This was a dire, boring game from start to finish. The play from both teams left a lot to be desired. Neither team looked capable of pressing home any sort of advantage. Throughout the game only Coutinho, Kum and Smolarek showed any kind of real drive and spirit to get something from the match.
The first action of any note was in the twenty third minute, when a cross in from the left by RKC captain Ard van Peppen was floated in toward Krisztian Nemeth whose towering header looped up high over Coutinho and into the back of the net. Good finish, 1-0.
In the fortieth minute Peppen got himself free down the left, he got himself to the dead ball line and hit a shot towards the inside of ADO’s near post, only a quick reflex save by Coutinho kept the ball out.
ADO finally got there first shot on goal in the forty forth minute. Toornstra was fouled by Guy Ramos thirty metres from goal. Toornstra took it upon himself to take the free-kick and his fierce drive was too hot too handle for Jeroen Zoet who was only able to parry the ball away for a corner.
The second half saw no improvement to the game, as long spells of time passed without incident which killed any sort of atmosphere that there was in an already lifeless stadium, I could easily have believed that the fans from both sides were falling asleep.
It was in the sixty sixth minute that the game came to life for a moment, and which also created the games main talking point. Toornstra took a free-kick from wide on the left. The ball fell into the penalty box where Smolarek reacted quickest and got a quick touch to guide the ball past the RKC keeper. To the surprise of the ADO players, referee Liesveld ruled the goal out. He judged that Lex Immers had managed to flick the ball on into the box, which then meant that Smolarek was standing in an off-side position when he scored. TV replays showed that this was a huge mistake by the referee and robbed ADO of a perfectly good equalizing goal.
After the wrong doing it looked as though ADO’s spirit left them. They looked down and beaten, and it could have ended worse. In the seventy eighth minute Evander Sno got in a shot from the edge of the area which Coutinho did well to hold on to. Then in the final minutes Sno put Geoffrey Castillion through in on goal. Coutinho stood up long enough to force the RKC forward to strike his shot at a good height for him to make a great save turning the ball around the post, should have been 2-0.
I think everybody in the stadium was relieved to hear the final whistle to put an end to such a dreadful match. It is difficult to say what a fare result would have been. Yes ADO had a perfectly good goal ruled out, yet the defence let RKC through in on goal too easily only for Coutinho to keep them at bay. On another given day, RKC could have won that game 3-1 easily. It is time for ADO to buck up again as points are needed as the season nears its end.
ADO man of the match: Gino Coutinho, a string of saves that kept the score down.