Expectations were high on Saturday night as ADO Den Haag faced Roda JC from Kerkrade following their great win at Feyenoord last Sunday. On paper it should have been a close game, as ADO are one place above Roda in the league.
Well it was a close game, but it was a match that lacked quality and real attacking power. Before the kick-off there was a minutes silence, to mark the passing of former commissioner and former major shareholder Paul Beyersbergen.
From the start, both teams allowed each other plenty of space, the action concentrated around the middle third of the pitch. There was good signs of ADO’s confidence as coming down the left, ADO did look threatening, Danny Bakker, Aaron Meijers and Eduardo Duplan playing well together, but the final crosses were lacking any accuracy.
It was not until the twentieth minute that there was anything to really write about, and that was when ADO took the lead. A long ball up the field by Meijers looked harmless as it fell to Roda defender Marcos Gullón, he played a weak pass back towards his keeper Benjamin van Leer. The onrushing Ruben Schaken forced the keeper into a bad clearance that went to ADO’s Kevin Jansen. With a calm head he struck the ball into an empty net from 25m out, 1-0.
ADO picked up a lot more pace after the goal, but yet again like so many times this season, they go a goal up, then sit back and allow their opponents to work the ball. In the fortieth minute the visitors were awarded a free-kick after a foul by Vito Wormgoor on former ADO favourite Mike van Duinen. The resulting melee in the penalty area saw Gullón almost make up for his earlier error when he saw his overhead kick save by Martin Hansen.
In the final seconds of the first half, ADO switched off totally. A simple ball crossed in from the right go in between Hansen and Wormgoor, they both stood still and watched the ball, obviously no shouts from either player, leaving Tom van Hyfte, the Roda captain the easiest tap in he’ll ever score, 1-1.
ADO started the second half well, and in the fifty third minute got themselves in front again. Duplan was fouled wide on the left. He himself took the free-kick and floated the ball into the penalty area. Timothy Derijck rose clear of the defenders to head the ball home, 2-1.
Duplan was the real star of the match, at times twisting and turning the Roda players inside out, after one mazy run, Jansen ended up with space to rifle a shot in goal, which was well blocked by the Roda keeper. From sixty minutes on, Roda took the upper hand as again ADO went into more of a defensive mode. It almost cost them dearly. Firstly a good header from Ugur Inceman hit the crossbar, then van Duinen found space inside the area, luckily was closed down quickly before any damage could be done.
Then in the eighty first minute Roda got level again. A kick by van Leer found Kristoffer Peterson just inside his own half, then he just took off, leaving Den Haag players in his wake before then unleashing a thunderbolt of a shot from 25m that just flew past the helpless ADO keeper, nobody would have saved it, a great strike, 2-2.
The final five minutes of the game really livened up. First former ADO misfit Rydell Poepon went in one on one with Hansen, the keeper winning the battle of wits. Then Duplan was within seconds forcing a good save from van Leer. who was quick enough to also respond to the rebound shot by Ludcinio Marengo. Within a minute Poepon was again forcing Hansen into action, producing another fine save. Then the final whistle blew.
So ADO threw away two points, again more through a lack of self belief when going forward than anything else and settling back into defence. There needs to be a change about this attitude before other clubs get chances to crawl back into games after ADO go a goal up. The great thing about tonight was the noise and atmosphere created on the Midden Noord (North Side)