On Sunday afternoon ADO Den Haag returned to Eredivisie action after the International break for the Euro 2016 tournament. The team only had to travel the short distance to the Stadion Galgenwaard. Last season, despite having numerous chances, ADO came away defeated 4-1, when a 4-4 score line would have seen a true reflection of the game.
The build up this week during training had not pleased manager Henk Fraser, stating he had been unhappy with training all week, saying that the body language was missing and that for the Utrecht game, he wanted, real men! So the question was, would the real men turn up to play?
Well in the end it seemed nobody turned up. The first half was lack lustre, both teams just going through the motions of being on the pitch. ADO allowed the hosts to have possession of the ball and were happy to sit back and not challenge until the ball was halfway inside their own half. It looked a dangerous tactic, sitting back so much. Thankfully Utrecht could not get a clear sight of goal. What chances there were, were wasted, mostly going wide of, or over the frame of the goal.
ADO’s only real chance came in the final minute of the half. A long free kick by keeper Martin Hansen was knocked forward by Mitchell Kramer to Mike van Duinen, the striker forcing Utrecht keeper Robin Ruiter into a flying save to palm the ball away.
The second half was marginally better, Utrecht pushing forward, but ADO willing to try and hit them on the counter attack. Despite the effort from both sides, chances were still hard to come by. In the sixty first minute Utrecht almost took the lead when Rubin Rubio struck a shot goal bound, only for Hansen to make a save at his post.
In the seventy fourth minute ADO had their best chance. Mitchell Schet intercepted a poor pass from Gévero Markiet and moved forward before placing a shot come cross into the penalty area. van Duinen stretched out a leg and steered the ball towards the inside of the far post. Ruiter at full stretcth managed to get his fingers to the ball to push the ball just pass the post and out for a corner, so very close.
FC Utrecht got the ball in the back of the net in the eightieth minute. Some neat combination play between Nacer Barazite and Anouar Kali saw Barazite able to put the ball into the back of the net, The stadium jumped and exploded into noise, soon to be silenced as the assistant referee flagged for off-side. Then the only noise then coming from the 250 ADO fans in the corner.
The game finished with no more action to speak of. ADO had gained a point away from home, which is far better than nothing. The tactics were different from any other game so far this season, but it worked and ADO almost got that vital goal. Next for ADO are two home games against Go Ahead Eagles, followed by AZ Alkmaar.
ADO man of the Match: Dion Malone, solid performance and worked hard throughout.
Attendance: 14, 910
ADO Team: Hansen; Zuiverloon, Derijck cannon Meijers; Malone, Kristensen, Alberg (82 Bakker); Schet (90 Houtkoop), Kramer, Van Duinen