ADO Den Haag opened their new season campaign at home to Feyenoord of Rotterdam. Even before the game kicked off the Kyocera stadium was rocking wildly to the sounds of much loved rap band, De Kraaien. So when the teams entered the stadium, their reception was fantastic.
The moody looking weather was soon to be matched by the moody look on all those associated with ADO Den Haag. This could have been a great game, as both teams started brightly. However the most influential man on the pitch, referee Danny Makkelie destroyed the game with overzealous refereeing. His performance should be investigated by the Dutch FA (KNVB). In total thirteen yellow cards were shown, a record in the Eredivisie. Two to Mitchell Schet of ADO. So as well as being down to ten men, ADO also looked to be playing against the official too.
The first highlight on the playing side was when Gianni Zuiverloon saw a header hit the crossbar in the sixteenth minute.
In the seventeenth minute, the whole stadium stood in silence to commemorate the victims of the flight MH17 disaster with a thiunderous round of applause for sixty seconds, this was then followed by both sets of supporters singing “You’ll never walk alone.”
ADO began to take hold of the ball in the heavy raining conditions and keep Feyenoord on the back foot. Chance came and went, best of all was in the twenty third minute when Dion Malone unleashed a shot from at least 35m out, the flight of the ball beat Erwin Mulder in the Feyenoord goal all ends up, yet for the second time, the ball hit the woodwork.
In the twenty fifth minute the controversy began. Elvis Manu clattered through Zuiverloon, leaving the ADO player in agony on the floor, referee only showing a yellow card. Then twice in the space of four minutes the referee showed the yellow card to Schet, both challenges were not deserving of a booking, but the player had to leave the field much to the surprise of everybody watching.
In the final minute of the half Feyenoord almost took the lead. A cross by Jordy Clasie was headed over the bar by Joris Mathijsen.
The second half descended into farce as the harsh refereeing got worse, much worse, yellow cards were being dished out for fun, even when the referee didn’t clearly see an offence, better safe than sorry and produced his yellow gem again, unbelievable stuff.
The game was losing any fluidity with all the stop starts. Kevin Jansen almost catching out the Rotterdam keeper with a long range dipping shot that needed to be tipped over the bar. Malone, Aaron Meijers and debutant Tyronne Ebuehi were forcing attacks down the wings, Michiel Kramer was putting himself about with lots of aggression, almost tempting a red card the way things were going. Despite this forward flow, as the clock ticked down there was a sense that things would not finish well for the home side.
The feeling was to become fact, as in the ninety first minute, ADO’s 84th minute substitute Papito Merencia fouled Clasie, surprisingly enough, he too got a booking! The free kick was taken by Ruud Vormer and the ball put into the net by Mitchell Te Vrede, 0-1.
ADO sent everyone forward in the final added minutes, all to no avail. The players fell to the ground unable to comprehend the result and how it came about. The fans turned on the referee, yet gave the ADO players a huge ovation for their efforts.
ADO Den Haag: Hansen; Malone, Wormgoor, Zuiverloon, Meijers ; Jansen (87. Merencia), Kristensen, Alberg (38. Ebuehi), Kristensen, Jansen; Schet, Kramer, Van Duinen
Attendance: 11, 716
ADO man of the Match: Dion Malone