ADO Den Haag were 110 years old when they played at Feyenoord last Sunday. Tonight they celebrated that anniversary in the Kyocera stadium. The build up started at 15.00, lots of things to see and do. There was live music on the pitch and when the players walked out, they were greeted by fireworks and three very impressive banners on three sides of the ground, a truly amazing sight! Now would the players give the supporters what they wanted? A win and three valuable points.
Well the answer to that question was a resounding yes! Twente had an early strike on goal inside two minutes, a free-kick from 22m out from goal by Hakim Ziyech smashed against the crossbar with Martin Hansen grasping thin air.
Then ADO took over, the two newly signed players Aleksandr Lakovenko and Wilson Eduardo were in the first eleven, they were inspiring, they chased after everything. Eduardo almost got his first goal for the club after chasing down a long ball forward, the defender tried to clear the ball, the ADO player jumped and blocked it, he was clear, but the referee Pieter Vink took guidance from his assistant and blew for handball.
ADO were causing trouble down the left hand side, Aaron Meijers feeding Lakovenko; the Ukrainian pleased all the fans in the stadium, his speed, agility and skill instantly wowing everybody. In the thirteenth minute he got his reward. The attack was that similar to the earlier chance for Eduardo. A long ball, defender tries to clear; Lakovenko jumped, blocked the ball and raced clear, one on one with the keeper Sonny Stevens, ball despatched into the back of net, debut goal, 1-0.
The exploits of the two new players lifted those around them, for the first time this season you could see heart and fight in every player. They chased every lost cause and won balls they had no rights to win.
Mike van Duinen seemed to be running on high powered batteries, he never let any player from Twente have time on the ball, especially their keeper. It was a shame for van Duinen that his work rate was not rewarded in the forty first minute. His shot across the goal from the right just missing the far upright. It had been a great half for ADO.
ADO played the same way in the second half, high pressure football, the visitors could not get a look in. In fact it was not until the sixty third minute that Twente threatened ADO’s goal. Two chances in quick succession were wasted by Luc Castaignos, the second looking harder to miss than score.
Seventy one minutes played and ADO were clicking, rhythm, accuracy, everything was working. A move diagonally across the field saw Eduardo cross into the area, van Duinen flicked the ball with his left leg, it was goal bound, but their keeper pulled off an excellent save; from the resulting corner, ADO were denied a clear penalty when the ball clearly struck the hand of Darryl Lachman.
The Kyocera stadium was now rocking, fans on three sides really giving their team the backing it deserved. In the last minute of the game AO fans had a chance to scream again at another goal. A long pass move between Roland Alberg and Xander Houtkoop saw Alberg run into the area and get tripped by Lachman. The ADO captain took responsibility for the penalty. Alberg gave a stuttering run up before placing the ball into the left hand corner, 2-0.
The crowd were amazing as the clock counted down, at the final whistle the stadium erupted and the new Chinese owner was seen on TV to be celebrating like a true fan. Is this a new style Wang dynasty? Let’s hope so, tonight was amazing on and off the pitch.
ADO man of the match: Mike van Duinen, a true ADO hero!