ADO Den Haag returned to action after the International break with a difficult game away at FC Utrecht. The International breaks always seem to come at a time when ADO are playing some good football and building up a decent run of performances, so after a good win last time out, they have had to sit back and train only, hopefully this enforced break will benefit the club for a change and not peg them back as has happened last few times.
Well ADO ended up with a 3-0 defeat, yet the score line does not tell the truth about the game and ADO’s great performance. ADO actually had control of the game for seventy of the ninety minutes and had plenty of chances to give themselves a 3-6 win if luck had been on their side.
ADO’s first chance was in the fourteenth minute when Jerson Cabral took a free kick, the ball was cleared out to the waiting Michiel Kramer who struck a shot which hit the post. For a long period after this ADO were playing some great football, totally in control and had Utrecht on the back foot. This was Cabral’s best game by far for ADO, his flicks and tricks were giving him time and space to make some good croses into the danger areas, something he has lacked in previous games.
The home side got their first site on goal in the twenty fifth minute. A free kick from the corner of the penalty area by Tommy Oar rocketed towards the top far corner, Gino Coutinho was a match for the effort and flung himself across the goal to palm the ball away brilliantly.
Thirty five minutes and ADO almost took the lead again, a fierce free-kick by Danny Holla took a deflection off Mike van Duinen which somehow Robbin Ridder in the Utrecht goal managed to save.
Unfortunately for ADO, the final five minutes of the half saw them drop their concentration and Utrecht took a two goal lead which they did not deserve. In the fourty second minute Steve de Ridder put the ball in the back of the net,1-0. One minute into added time Yassin Ayoub got the second reacting first to a save by Coutinho from a free-kick, 2-0.
From the second half restart AO still looked bemused and shell shocked from going two down and seven minutes into the half found themselves 3-0 down. Utrecht pushed forward and after some intricate passing Kai Heerings slotted the ball home, disaster for ADO.
In the following ten minutes ADO held out, Coutinho making two more fine saves. Bad new for ADO as Danny Holla was taken off with what looked like to be a hamstring injury. Maurice steijn had to reorganize things and he had to bring on Vito Wormgoor who had missed a few games due to injury.
ADO then got themselves back together and showed so much fight and determination, so much so that they should have at least earned a point. Roland Alberg became a nightmare for the Utrecht defence. Three times he was close to scoring in a five minute period. If one had have gone in I am sure things would have changed. ADO were by far the stronger and kept on moving forward.
With fifteen minutes remaining, ADO were aided even more after referee Kevin Blom dismissed Mark van der Maarel after a foul on the troublesome Alberg.
As the time ticked away ADO still applied the pressure, even in injury time they were still attacking until the very end.
A bad result but a great display of pride and passion. The players had let nobody down at all. They all played like real men and as a unit played well together. The loss of concentration at the end of the first half and start of second cost them dearly. If they played like they did for the rest of the game, they would certainly be in the top half of the table instead of struggling near the bottom.
ADO man of the match: Roland Alberg
Photos courtesy of Hendershots.nl