ADO win at Herenveen, but at what cost?
The first game after the international break saw ADO travel away to sc Heerenveen, a team they had never neaten in the Abe Lenstra stadion and who they have never beaten away in the Eredivisie. What would be the outcome this time?
The performance of ADO Den Haag in the first half was the best I have ever seen them play. They were solid, strong, and full of running. Each player was showing a grit, fight and determination that the fans have been waiting to see for some time. Heerenveen under the management of former Dutch star player and manager Marco van Basten just could not cope with ADO’s tempo.
Straight from the kick-off ADO pushed forward, there were some early shots on goal but nothing to trouble Kristoffer Nordfeldt in the Heerenveen goal. At times the only way to prevent ADO attacks was for the home side to give away numerous free kicks.
ADO got the break through in the twentieth minute. Chery was hungry for the ball and robbed Sven Kums who was at a loss as to what to do with it. Poepon made himself available and scored his first goal for ADO, the joy and relief on his face was clear for all to see, 0-1.
The second of ADO’s goals arrived soon after. In the twenty forth minute Kevin Jansen raced down the right wing, beating his marker with ease. He cut inside and sent a curling shot beyond the keeper only to se the effort rebound off the frame of the goal. Luck was on ADO’s side as the ball came back out to Toornstra who was left with the simple task of heading the ball home into an empty net unchallenged, 0-2.
Two minutes later ADO almost got the third, Toornstra passing to van Duinen, whose shots went up and over the bar. Heerenveen were at a complete loss at the back when it came to trying to deal with ADO’s offensive plan, both Chery and Jansen were running rings around them.
The third goal hit the back of the net in the twenty eighth minute. Omeruo plays the ball wide to Chery. The winger had only one thought in his head as he drove forward into the penalty box. As he entered the area, Nordfeldt came to meet him and narrow the angle, but Chery just fired the ball almost through him and into the back of the net, ADO was simply rampant, 0-3.
It was not until the half hour mark that Heerenveen had their first real opportunity on goal. A free-kick by former ADO player Youssef el Akchaoul was on target forcing Coutinho to make a fine save.
In the thirty fifth minute the games most controversial moment occurred. Poepon raced onto a pass from Holla, as he got close to shooting on goal, Ramon Zomer grabbed him and felled him to the floor. A shout for a penalty from the visitors was acknowledged by the referee who pointed at the spot and also issuing a red card to Zomer in the process. Then the linesman called the referee over and after a talk, it was all changed, Poepon had been ruled off-side and so the red card was rescinded.
As the half time whistle went, loud cheers could be heard from the small but noisey band of travelling support, a great forty five minutes, a shame it had to end. The question now was what would the second half hold? Would ADO sit back and defend, or come out again all guns blazing? One thing for sure, Heerenveen would have to come out as a more attacking side.
ADO pushed forward early on but then Heerenveen began to play with a bit more urgency and got their reward in the fifty third minute. From a corner Zomer headed the ball on, leading to a scramble before Jeffrey Gouweleeuw managed to get the ball over the line, 1-3.
After the goal, ADO’s defending got a bit reckless and a few yellow cards were issued by the referee. This also saw the departure from the pitch of Aaron Meijers who in the seventieth minute was given his second yellow card of the game, ADO down to ten men for the final twenty minutes against a side eager to fight back.
The home side really began to force the play and had several opportunities to pull another goal back, only some desperate defending and goalkeeping kept them at bay.
A sickening clash between ADO’s Supusepa and Heerenveen’s Rajiv van la Parra saw the ADO player laid out on the ground, there was an instant look of concern by the players on the pitch as the medical team raced on. The game was held up for eight minutes before Supusepa was carried off on a stretcher with his neck in a brace.
After the break the football was end to end, the official showed extyra time of eleven minutes were to be played. During that team each team attacked with speed, the woodwork being hit by both sides. Coutinho tried to calm it down a bit but only managed to earn himself a yellow card for time wasting.
The final whistle was greeted by the fans with loud whoops and screams of happiness, it had been a top class performance. The players were overjoyed as they came across to the visiting fans to celebrate the victory.
In the post match press conference, Maurice Steijn was by far the happier manager and was delighted with his team. He was asked about the condition of Supusepa and he said he had been taken to hospital for x-rays. Later he was allowed free from hospital and travelled back on the team bus with his team mates back to The Hague.
ADO man of the match: Tjaronn Chery, a fantastic exhibition of fight, skill and determination, ran the Heerenveen midfield and defence ragged.