A different kind of match report today, more of a match day report. I often write about how accepting the local fans are of expats in the stadium, and yes, I know of many expats who go on a regular basis aswel as myself. But still I get the rare email saying how can I write this when I am never in the stands with the ADO fans. So ok, I went to the NAC Breda v ADO game two years ago on the supporters bus and loved it. This time away to FC Groningen I was invited to go with the Auto combi. Which meant I was in a car with fans driving to the stadium and sitting in the away end with 400 other ADO fans.
I ordered my ticket vouchers from the ADO website two weeks prior to the game. I met up with my fellow travel mates at 10.00 by the Kyocera stadium, exchanged our vouchers for the actual match tickets and then set off on the long drive. I had great company as six friends shared two cars. A few breaks for toilet and a stop off for a drink in a quiet hotel, nice laughs with the staff.
Got to stadium thirty minutes before kick-off. The body search on entry being the most thorough I have ever been subjected to. The stewards of Groningen were very friendly and welcoming. Also free tea and coffee on offer to ADO fans outside the gates. It was nice as an expat to greeted by several people had never met previously face to face, only via Facebook. Lots of nice comments about this website.
I stood in the corner of the away end, in the second tier, a great view, only spoiled by the thick netting. The ADO fans were in great voice and sang their heads off for almost two entire hours, lots of laughs and great humour. The 400 fans made all the noise, only rarely did the home support really get behind their team. Felt proud to be a part of ADO away.
The match itself was not for the faint hearted, the first half was very much a non-event. Martin Hansen had to save one shot from former ADO player Tjaronn Chery and Mike van Duinen had a weak shot in the final seconds that was easy for the keeper.
The second half was totally different. In the forty ninth minute, Chery fell far to easily after the slightest of touches from Vito Wormgoor and was awarded a penalty. Nick van der Velden placed the ball on the spot before hitting a very poorly struck shot low to Hansen’s left, the ADO guessed correctly and made the save look easy.
In less than a minute Groningen were awarded another dubious penalty. Timothy Derijck being judges to have blocked a cross with his arm. It was clear from the away end opposite it was his chest and TV pictures later proved it. This time Chery took and converted the penalty, 1-0.
ADO went straight on the attack, fifty five minutes played and Mitchel Schet forced a save from the keeper, Roland Alberg had a second attempt and then van Duinen put the rebound over the bar. The game went end to end, chances for both sides, Hansen saving twice and ADO denied a clear penalty when the ball struck the arm of Hans Hateboer, strange refeering decision again, putting it politely.
As the clocked reached the ninety minute mark, the assistand referee showed there were to be an extra four minutes of added time. In the ninety fourth minute Xander Houtkoop got the ball on the left of the penalty area and fired in a vicious strike, only for the keeper to make a good save and turn the ball away for a corner. All the ADO players, including Hansen went up for the resulting corner. Alberg took the corner and the ball fell to Houtkoop who struck it sweetly into the back of the net, 1-1.
The final whistle blew and the away end erupted, The singing even louder as the players cheered in front of their followers. The walk out of the stadium was great, singing in the concrete tunnels to where the buses and cars were parked. Lots of back slapping and hand shaking going on. So for ADO that is now five games without defeat, but still no away win, but safety from relegation is looking better each week. I can totally say that you must gpo and visit ADO Den Haag, if you follow the club, you are one of them, a memorable day for me. Loved it!
ADO man of the match: Martin Hansen
ADO team: Martin Hansen; Gianni Zuiverloon, Vito Wormgoor, Timothy Derijck, Aaron Meijers; Dion Malone, Roland Alberg, Thomas Kristensen (Gervane Kasteneer’73) ; Wilson Eduardo (Xander Houtkoop’78), Michiel Kramer (Mitchell Schet’46), Mike van Duinen