Sunday saw ADO Den Haag travel to play RKC Waalwijk in a vital six point relegation battle. This was a game both teams needed to win in their fight to avoid the dreaded play-offs and survive in the Eredivisie.
The result, a draw, suited neither team. ADO just edged the possession, but all taken into consideration, a share of the points was a fair outcome.
It was the home side that started the brightest and forced the retuning Gino Coutinho in to a fine reflex save after a former ADO player Romeo Castelen got a powerful header on target after a cross by Evander Sno.
After the quick start from RKC, ADO began to control the midfield and were feeding the ont runners at regular intervals, both Danny Holla and Roland Alberg. ADO’s travelling support, much larger than usual, were in fine voice and were easily out singing the Waalwijk fans.
In the seventeenth minute ADO took the lead. The ball was intercepted in midfield and Dion Malone broke down the right. He supplied the perfect cross into the penalty, where Alberg came racing in at speed and manage to direct his header into the back of the net, great finish, 0-1.
After the goal ADO pushed forward in effort to kill the game off. Vito Wormgoor and Mike van Duinen forcing Jan Seda in the RKC goal to stay alert and block the ADO efforts.
ADO could not keep the lead until half time, as in the forty second minute the home side got lucky. A rare error from Tom Beugelsdijk led to Sander Duits being able to play the ball into space for Castelen to run on to. The forward kept his nerve as Coutinho charged at him and placed the ball into the back of the net, 1-1.
The second half saw the home side force the play and put ADO under a lot of pressure. They had several chances on goal, but thankfully Coutinho was able to pull off two more top class saves. The closest they got to taking the lead was when Robert Braber hit a low drive that struck the foot of the post.
In the fifty seventh minute ADO had a huge penalty appeal turned down. van Duinen was racing into the box, ball under control and about to shoot when from behind Ingo van Weert stretched through the ADO strikers legs. Contact was clearly made on the back of van Duinen’s ankle before Weert made contact with the ball. Everybody tuned to look at referee Bas Nijhuis, he waved the claims away and awarded a corner, ADO players were incensed with the decision. Yet again the refereeing of ADO games by Nijhuis saw the official go against ADO.
The final fifteen minutes saw both sides put together efforts on goal, yet none were to cause either keeper any problems. I think both sides were just happy not to lose this important game and were both relieved at the final whistle.
ADO man of the Match: Gino Coutinho, back to his brilliant best.