ADO draw with AZ Alkmaar
Saturday night in the Kyocera stadium, ADO Den Haag took on AZ of Alkmaar. The hope was to avenge the 0-6 thrashing ADO received last season on a frozen pitch.
Before the kick-off, the new section for blind supporters was opened, offering the visually impaired the chance to sit in the stadium and soak up the atmosphere whilst being able to listen to live match commentary from Radio West.
A big surprise to many was the fact that van Duinen was sitting on the substitutes bench as Vicento took his place. Over the last few games fans had been calling for the introduction of Vicento into the starting line up in place of Poepon, not van Duinen, the reason given was that van Duinen had a slight injury and was fatigued.
As with almost every game so far this season, ADO began brightly and looked to be up for a fight, however ADO soon faded and the visitors began to dominate far too easily. The first chance fell to ADO as Holla took a corner on the left, the cross reached Beugelsdijk at the far post only to be headed just wide of the post.
ADO fell away after that and AZ controlled the midfield with Roy Beerens being their main point of threat with his passing ability. AZ had a few weak shots but nothing to trouble Zwinkels in the ADO goal.
ADO got a break again, this time in the fifteenth minute when Holla played a long ball forward into the path of Chery. He took the ball inside and fired a shot that flew just high and wide of the far post.
In the twenty second minute AZ took a deserved lead, after Vicento had be muscled off the ball in the AZ area, they broke with speed and a ball forward by their captain Nick Viergever found Erik Falkenburg. As he raced in, Zwinkels and Beugelsdijk collided leaving an empty net for the easy tap in, 0-1.
Just after the half hour mark, ADO began to hold AZ in the midfield area of the pitch. Vicento was chasing down and not giving up on any loose ball. This paid off for him in the thirty second minute. When a weak back pass by Etiene Reijnen was short of the keeper allowing Vicento to chase through and steer the ball wide of Esteban in the AZ goal, 1-1.
One minute into the second half and ADO took the lead. ADO created havoc in the AZ area and in the ensuing melee a clumsy jump by Reijnen flattened Poepon. The referee Ruud Bosen had no choice but to award a penalty. Captain reliable Danny Holla took the kick, blasting it into the back of the net, 2-1.
In the sixty fourth minute a sublime bit of skill and strength by AZ forward Jozy Altidore saw him control a cross close to the by-line. He baffled Beugelsdijk with his brilliance to smash the ball into the far corner from a tight angle, stunning goal, 2-2.
ADO reacted well to conceding the goal and came straight back at AZ. A cross lifted into the AZ area caused chaos and some how Esteban managed to thrust his hand up while almost on the floor to claw the ball away to prevent an almost certain goal for ADO.
Things got a bit lively in the seventy seventh minute when AZ refused to play the ball out when ADO player Kevin Jansen was down injured. Meijers was angry and reacted by flattening Falkenburg. Then all the players from both sides got into a skirmish which resulted in a yellow card for Holla, which means he will be suspended for the next weeks game against PSV. Kenneth Omeruo was also booked in this game and will also miss the same match.
At the final whistle Steijn confronted the referee as he left the pitch, not happy with several of his decisions. All in all, a point was a fair result over the ninety minutes. ADO had hung in there only just during a bad first half. Hopefully they will keep that fighting spirit up next week when they will be missing two key defenders!
ADO man of the match: Charlton Vicento; never stopped running and his efforts rewarded him with a goal.