Ajax 1 V 1 ADO Den Haag
ADO travelled to their biggest rivals Ajax of Amsterdam on Sunday. Again ADO fans were not allowed into the stadium for this fixture. So without the usual vocal support the players had to take on Ajax alone.
It was a tough test for ADO. Danny Holla ruled out before the kick-off and during the warm up Santi Kolk was withdrawn from the starting line up; the omens were not looking good.
Ajax took the game to ADO and forced the visitors back at every opportunity. Only rarely did the back line get any rest when Malone or van Duinen made some runs down the flanks.
As well as some excellent and brave goal keeping by Coutinho the defensive unit of ADO worked hard together blocking everything Ajax threw at them, there was heart and passion in their play, great to see.
The early omens that seemed to be looking ominous for ADO changed as the first half continued. Television replays later showed that an Ajax disallowed goal was nowhere near off-side and when Coutinho was beaten, a goal line clearance by Beugelsdijk looked to have crossed the line; luck was shining on ADO for a change.
Poepon and van Duinen had chances for ADO but nothing really threatening. Then a huge mistake by the Ajax defence in the thirty first minutes saw ADO take the lead. The Ajax keeper Kenneth Vermeer played the ball out to Niklas Moisander; he in turn totally mishit a pass that went to Chery. The ADO striker remained composed and beautifully lobbed the ball over the keeper into the empty net, 0-1.
The second half saw Ajax really turn the screw on ADO. They were full of running, but their finishing was not really that por. Coutinho was blocking everything with every part of his body and when he was beaten, outstretched legs and even players faces kept the ball out.
Santi Kolk was deemed fit enough for the final part of the game and his introduction almost created a second goal for ADO in the seventieth minute. Chery raced down the wing and played the ball across field to where Kolk was unmarked. The Ajax keeper raced at him and did enough to force Kolk into a weaker shot than there should have been. Beugelsdijk at the other end was heading every single ball that was crossed into the area, manfully holding his ground.
In the eighty fifth minute ADO hearts were broken. Coutinho somehow managed to let a simple ball slip from his hands and go out for a corner. From the resulting corner the ball fell on the edge of the penalty area where Lasse Scone fired home through a crowded box into the corner of the net, 1-1.
At the final whistle the ADO players were totally deflated after coming so close to beating their illustrious foes. In the post match press conference Steijn said it was a real bonus point for ADO. Nobody pointed the finger at Coutinho, and that is right, he put his body on the line for the team, on another day ADO could have lost heavily if the keeper wasn’t in such great form.
ADO man of the match: Beugelsdijk, a massive performance from the local hero, battled and fought for everything.
Attendance: 46, 772