The big question before the kick-off was which ADO team would turn up at the AFAS stadium in Alkmaar? The one that performed so well at home to FC Twente last weekend, or the one that was beaten by second division side MVV Maastricht in the cup?
Manager Maurice Steijn had more problems than he bargained for even before kick-off. Roland Alberg threw his toys out the cot when he was told he was to be a substitute, he complained and then was left out of the squad altogether. This is something the club do not need and hopefully he will be dealt with properly, as they say, no man is bigger than the club or manager.
From the start it was easy to see ADO were lining up to be defensive, it took them eleven minutes to get into the attacking third of the pitch. AZ had control of the midfield and worked the ball around with ease, forcing the ADO backline to work very hard to close them off.
Despite all the AZ possession, there were no clear goal scoring opportunities until the twenty fifth minute, when Gino Coutinho was forced to make a decent save from Roy Beerens.
AZ were finding it to be an easy game as they pressured more and more as time passed by. Then in the forty second minute they got the break through. A strong run by Beerens saw him cross the ball into the danger area where Nemanja Gudelj out jumped Dion Malone to put the ball into the net, 1-0.
In the final minute of the half ADO almost got back on level terms. A run by Gehrt saw him inside the penalty area, he looked as though he was pushed over, the referee ignoring the foul, yet Gerht still managed to cross the ball to Mike van Duinen, his effort being saved by Esteban in the AZ goal.
The second half was very similar to the first, ADO chasing AZ. Tommie Beugelsdijk was a rock at the back, he was chasing, heading and tackling everything with power and urgency, actually it was only him and Mathias Gerht who came away from this game without having to fel like they let the supporters down.
In the sixty fifth minute ADO fell to a superb unstoppable goal. All seemed safe when Johan Berg Gudmundsson collected the ball in space, then from thirty meters he unleashed a thunderous shot that flew into the top corner, no keeper would have got near to it, stunning strike, 2-0.
ADO threatened the goal one more time in the eighty second minute. Danny Holla took a corner from the right side, Michiel Kramer rose highest and forced Esteban to tip the ball over the bar.
AZ then dominated the closing stages, giving ADO the runaround. Sad to say, but there was one or two players who hadn’t started the game well, who looked uneasy and just didn’t perform. In the final minute the stadium announcer read out the AZ man of the match, in response the travelling ADO support sang that their man of the match was Beugelsdijk, followed by the Monty Python anthem “Always look on the bright side of life.”
Up next is the home game against sc Cambuur, on paper three points for ADO, but these days you just never know.
Man of the match: Tommie Beugelsdijk, a real rock at the back.
Attendance: 15, 379