On Sunday afternoon ADO Den Haag hosted Cambuur Leeuwarden, a team that prior to kick-off was in seventeenth position out of the eighteen teams in the Eredivisie. Before the kick-off and after last week’s unsavoury chanting by a tiny minority of ADO fans, many of which have already been given stadium bans. The staff and substitutes paraded a large ANTI-RACISM banner onto the pitch.
The opening ten minutes of the game was a dire affair. The passing was awful, even short passes were going astray, it looked as though both teams were settling for a draw from the kick-off.
In the fourteenth minute, from the first clear cut breakaway, the visitors scored. Sander van de Streek worked a neat one-two with Bartholomew Ogbeche that split ADO’s defence, allowing van de Streek to clip the ball over Martin Hansen and into the far corner of the net, 0-1.
After the goal ADO began to push forward a bit more, yet the communication was still missing. Too many simple passes being misplaced. They created a few chances from crosses, yet they did not really threaten to beat Leonard Nienhuis in the Cambuur goal. The halftime whistle blew and the fans berated the ADO players with a crescendo of boos from the stands.
Manager Henk Fraser made a tactical change at the start of the second half, along with that and the probable verbal attack to his players during the break, ADO came out fighting, but with more direct and accurate passing. Mike Havenaar was finding plenty of space with the introduction of Ludcinio Marengo in place of Kevin Jansen.
ADO were now a side dominating the game and in the fifty third minute drew level. Marengo played the ball dpwn the right to the overlapping Wilfried Kanon, who sent the perfect cross into the danger area for Havenaar to attack and reach with a diving header, great play from ADO, 1-1.
The fans could see a different ADO now and the volume of support increased as they urged their team on, and they didn’t have to wait long to celebrate for a second time. Fifty six minutes played Danny Bakker broke forward combining with Marengo who was again being a thorn in Cambuur’s side played in Edouard Duplan, his shot hit the crossbar and fell nicely for Havenaar to react quickly to put the ball into the open goal, 2-1.
In the minutes following taking the lead, ADO were very unlucky not to go further in front. Firstly a magnificent double save from Nienhuis, firstly denying Havenaar and then Duplan. Soon after Ruben Schaken got free on the left, his cross found Havenaar in plenty of space with the goal and a hattrick beckoning, yet his header went wide of the upright.
Then ADO changed their play, instead of pushing forward, they sat back allowing Cambuur more time on the ball. At only 2-1 this was a danger game plan which almost backfired. In the final minute a cross from the right flew across ADO’s penalty area, Gianni Zuiverloon swung at it and totally miskicked the ball, it curled back towards goal forcing Hansen to leap and twist to turn the ball over the bar.
Soon after the referee blew for full-time. The players and fans happy. Yet in the end ADO could have given away the points with a frustrating about turn in their play. Hopefully they will not do it again when only one goal in front.