FC Twente 2 v 0 ADO Den Haag
On Saturday evening, ADO Den Haag travelled to the Grolsch Veste stadium in Enschede to take on FC Twente, managed by the former England manager, Steve McClaren. This was a stern test for ADO; could they continue their amazing run of being unbeaten away from home? The answer was no.
FC Twente was the stronger, dominant team throughout the game. This was going to be ADO’s toughest challenge away from home so far and so it proved to be so. The first forty five minutes saw ADO in total rear guard action: Defending for their lives, putting their bodies on the line for their club. The midfield and defence had to work so hard to keep FC Twente at bay. The home side must have had 80% of the possession during the first forty five minutes.
It was not until the thirtieth minute that ADO actually had any pressure on the Twente defence. There were three corners in succession as ADO tried to give the defenders a break. Danny Holla was the corner taker and had had to be told by the referee to hurry up, as ADO were already time wasting in the game: All credit to Holla for doing this, as the ADO defence were being run ragged by what was an outstanding early period by Twente’s attacking line up.
For ADO to reach half time during the Twente onslaught was amazing. They worked so hard as a unit. A sign that the training ground tactics are staring to prove their worth.
The second half started disastrously for ADO. In the forty eighth minute Tjaronn Cherry was shown a red card after a two footed lunge at the ball which caught Robbert Schilder. The challenge happened right in front of me and I knew what was coming. The ADO players protested but the referee really had no option but to deliver a red card; from that moment on it was obvious ADO were going to struggle.
ADO battled to preserve their proud away record, but against a top side, they eventually leaked two goals.
The first goal came in the fifty fifth minute. Leroy Fer and Bulykin made the space and the ball was played into the path of Dusan Tadic to slide the ball into the far corner of the net, 1-0.
ADO managed to get their game together and press forward on a few occasions, no real chances were created to worry the the home team, but it gave the ADO defenders the chance to take a much needed breather.
The visitors almost held out until the end, but with seven minutes to go, former ADO favourite Bulykin had two chances to beat Coutinho and finally seal the victory for FC Twente.
At the final whistle the players looked drained and dejected. There should be no need for them to feel down about this loss. Ten men for forty five minutes against a championship challenging side was an amazing achievement. All of the ADO players worked hard and fought for the club. They may have now been beaten away from the Kyocera, but their strength and belief is still there.
ADO man of the match: For the third time in a row, Tom Beugelsdijk gets the award; a true ADO fighter at heart. His defensive display was top class.