ADO Den Haag v PEC Zwolle
On an absolute freezing night in the Kyocera stadium, temperatures staying just above zero, a hardy crowd of well wrapped up supporters gathered to watch what turned out to be an uninspiring game.
Before kick-off there was a minutes silence to remember the amateur linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen; who was murdered after an assault on him after a match involving teenagers. This story has shocked not just football fans but the whole of the footballing world. ADO’s own fans decided that as a mark of their feelings about this tragedy, they would take no banners into the stadium. There was one exception to that, a banner that had written on it R.I.P. Richard. The minutes silence was respected 100% all around the stadium, not a sound: Magnificent by both sets of supporters.
ADO as per usual at the start of every forty five minutes came charging out of the blocks, going for the heart of the Zwolle defence, but as usual nothing came of it. ADO played with added width due to the introduction at the start for Vicento in place of the suspended Chery.
The game from the start looked as though it was going to be a typical home display, lots of effort, several chances and nothing to show for it, and so it proved to be.
ADO had control for the first ten minutes before Zwolle gradually worked themselves back into the game and in the twenty forth minute they got a goal that was a dagger to the heart of the ADO players.
A free kick was taken by Rochdi Achenteh out wide on the right. For some reason the angle it came in at, and the run of several players in front of Coutinho confused the ADO keeper and the ball slipped passed him with ease, 0-1.
The teams took turns to attack following the goal. Coutinho called into make a brave save and Zwolle’s keeper Diederik Boer also being called bravely into action. However the ADO fans began to show their disapproval of ADO’s play, which at times was sluggish and not pressing forward quickly enough.
Just before half time, Toornstra was played in by a great pass from Meijers. The ADO forward easily beat the keeper and as he turned to celebrate his goal, Toornstra’s joy to to horror as he was flagged off-side. TV pictures later proved that the decision by the linesman was incorrect.
The second half was a bit better than the first, a lot more effort from both sides. It wasn’t exactly end to end stuff, but it got the crowd going and both sides had their opportunities to score. Coutinho keeping his goal safe with some fine saves.
ADO got the equalizer in the sixty fifth minute: Holla playing a nice ball to van Duinen, who quickly turned it into Toornstra who fired a shot past the Zwolle keeper making it 1-1: The ADO manager Steijn jumping in the air with relief.
The game ran itself down as the fans began to drift away. The fans that did leave earkly almost missed the goal of ADO’s season. A stunning overhead kick by Elbers was only denied a goal by a stunning save by Boer in the Zwolle goal at full stretch. The final whistle was greeted by boos from around the stadium as ADO fans felt they had seen no fight from their team. The home hoodoo is still their, they can’t produce their away form at home.
If all things were fair in football, I think ADO was lucky to get the point they got. Zwolle had the more chances to win the game.
ADO man of the match: Mike van Duinen, at the centre of all that was good about ADO’s play.
Attendance: 9, 134