Sunday saw the Amsterdam Arena full of 50,000 expectant Ajax fans, waiting for their team to beat ADO and claim the championship title. Just two months ago this would have been the obvious outcome, but under Henk Fraser and a run of nine games unbeaten, ADO went into the game full of confidence and self belief.
The players came out to an electrifying atmosphere, it it such a shame that ADO fans were yet again not allowed to travel to this match; if they were, the atmosphere would have been even more spine tingling.
Despite what was at stake, the game was a bit of a let down. Fraser had set out the side to defend the expected onslaught. The well drilled defensive unit held out well keeping the Ajax forwards at bay, forcing them into long range and weak efforts on goal. Only once in the first thirty minutes was ADO keper, Gino Coutinho called into action to make a good save.
ADO held out until the thirty fifth minute. From a free kick wide on the left, Lasse Schone floated the ball across and Christian Poulsen flicked the ball with his head changing the direction of the ball into the far corner of the ADO goal, 1-0.
ADO were behind for only thirty seconds. Danny Bakker was set free down the left, he fired the ball across the penalty area only for Ajax defender Stefano Densil to inexplicably smash the ball into the back of his own net, ADO celebrated as the ArenA fell into silence, 1-1.
The second half was much the same as the first, Ajax in charge across midfield and ADO holding a strong defensive line. This was frustrating the home side and a few scuffles broke out amongst players. ADO held out until the sixty ninth minutes. Ajax attacked down the right wing. Davy Klaassen got clear and fired a low drive in between the near post and Coutinho, 2-1.
In the seventy ninth minute the hosts scored again. Vito Wormgoor allows Thulani Serero to get free. The Ajax man shoots the ball between Coutinho’s legs to make it 3-1.
Roland Alberg almost got a goal, he was free in a one on one with Jasper Gilleaaen in the Ajax goal. The ADO striker currently on a great goal scoring run took aim and for once his form let him down, firing weakly at the keeper, chance gone.
ADO made it 3-2 in the first minute of injury time. A cross from Mike van Duinen was met by the head of Michiel Kramer, his header took the slightest of touches from Tommie Beugelsdijk and into the back of the net. No celebrations from ADO, the final whistle blowing a minute later.
After the game Fraser said he was very happy with the performance. The players did what he wanted them to do. He stated that the fact Ajax were going for the title and playing at 100%, he knew to match them his side would have to be at around 160% to match them, in the end they ran Ajax close.
So at the end of this, ADO lost their unbeaten run under Henk Fraser, They still need one point to be mathematically safe from relegation. Ajax still not champions as Feyenoord also won. There are now only two games remaining in the league season.
ADO man of the Match: Dion Malone, a very solid and strong performance.