On Sunday afternoon ADO Den Haag faced up to another stern test to their great away form this season. Up until this game at Feyenoord, ADO had lost only once away from the Kyocera stadium.
Eight hundred ADO fans were bussed to De Kuip (The Tub) stadium, one of Europe’s most recognisable and famous. The fans inside the ground created a great noise to welcome the ADO players onto the pitch. Former ADO players Lex Immers and Wesley Verhoek were in the Feyenoord side and both were given a decent reception by the traveling fans.
The game itself turned out to be one full of controversy, fight, excitement and talking points, all in all, one hell of a game of football.
The early exchanges were pretty even and indeed it was ADO who had the first site of goal, Toornstra putting the ball over from close range.
The game started out with some niggling challenges and as time passed, more irritations arose amongst the players. The Feyenoord players were looking to win free-kicks by some obvious diving, yet the referee waved away appeals on numerous occasions yet never reprimanded those who were trying to cheat.
Feyenoord took the lead in the fifteenth minute. The Italian striker, Graziano Pelle was played in by Dutch international Bruno Martins Indi. The striker beat Beugelsdijk to the ball and hammered a shot passed Coutinho, 1-0.
ADO heads did not drop and within sixty seconds had got themselves back on level terms. Meijers and Chery combining to allow van Duinen to get clear on the right hand side of the penalty area. A simple ball by Chery gave van Duinen the easiest of chances to draw the away side level, 1-1.
As the first half was coming to an end. A high ball was played into the ADO area. Pelle went up to head the ball. Omeruo made a challenge and went into the back of the Italian, who responded as if he had been hit by a lorry. So after a few attempts, Feyenoord eventually got their penalty kick. Former ADO favourite Lex Immers took responsibility for the kick and sent Coutinho the wrong way, 2-1.
The second half became a bit of a war, challenges were strong, which got the fans fired up, creating a superb atmosphere.
In the fifty sixth minute ADO were awarded a penalty after Indi was adjudged to have prevented van Duinen from scoring from a golden opportunity. The referee Ruud Bossen showed Indi a red card, giving ADO a one man advantage. ADO’s Mr. Reliable calmly placed the penalty into the goal, giving the keeper Erwin Mulder no chance, 2-2.
ADO now had a great chance to finish Feyenoord off, unfortunately within a minute of the restart ADO’s Tom Beugelsdijk completely lost his mind for a moment and went straight through the back of Immers, using his elbow in the process. The referee had no option but to send the ADO player off, so much for the numerical advantage.
As the game continued the aggravation between the sides threatened to boil over on more than one occasion, players from both sides being guilty of feigning injury or going in over the top.
ADO were holding on well as the home sides pressure grew as the clock clicked down and with only four minutes remaining Ado’s defence was breached; Coutinho made a double block as Feyenoord moved in on goal again. Finally the ball was played across the area where Coutinho could not reach the ball. Chery lost his bearings and some how managed to head the ball into the corner of his own goal, 3-2.
ADO still never gave up, they drove forward and in the fourth minute of added on time, Dion Malone fired in a stunning volley from outside the area. The shot was matched by the save that kept the scores level, Mulder pulling off a world class save to earn Feyenoord all three points.
This was a game ADO could have gotten something from. If only Beugelsdijk had kept his cool. If only Meijers, who was having so much space and joy on the wing could have produced a killer final ball instead of playing it backwards at the vital moment. The team however can be proud of themselves. They worked so well together and fought for each other, at times literally. Yet again ADO Den Haag plays their best football away from the Kyocera.
ADO man of the match: Mike van Duinen; fought hard throughout the game, never giving up.
Attendance: 45. 000