On a bright sunny day at the Kyocera stadium, ADO Den Haag took on local rivals sc Excelsior of Rotterdam. There was a strange atmosphere around the stadium, bad results and performances of late leading to an expected protest by supporters during the game. The main block of the support were left empty at kick-off as the fans stayed away until the twelfth minute of the game before filling their usual sections. Sadly for those who protested, they missed the first goal.
ADO began brightly and in the seventh minute took the lead. Aaron Meijers fed the ball to Edouard Duplan who raced to the dead ball line, his cross was met with a deft flick of the right foot by Mike Havenaar into the back of the net, a beautiful finish, 1-0.
ADO were dominating the visitors and went close to scoring on several occasions, it was only due to some fine goal keeping by Filip Kurto and brave blocking by the Excelsior defence that stopped ADO from running away with the game.
The Rotterdammers had a few chances to get on level terms, but their only real threat was an effort by Brandley Kuwas which was superbly saved by Martin Hansen. The one goal lead looked to be good enough to send ADO in ahead at the break. Yet in the final minute Excelsior scored. ADO defence was flat footed and slow to react to a ball on the edge of the penalty area. Adil Auassar was quickest to move and fired a shot which caught the leg of Thomas Kristensen sending the ball looping over Hansen and into the net, 1-1.
Within four minutes of the restart ADO were back in front. They won a corner on the right. Duplan flighted the ball towards the penalty spot. Gianni Zuiverloon arrived late, rose highest and thundered an unstoppable header into the back of the net, 2-1.
The game became more open and there was plenty of space for midfielders of both sides to operate in. Then in the sixty second minute an error by Ruben Schaken saw a quick counter attack. Kuwas got the ball, played a defence splitting pass through to Auassar who raced in on goal, the forward kept his nerve and neatly chipped the ball over Hansen, a cool finish, 2-2.
Just three minutes late ADO were back in front. Dion Malone was on the edge of the area when he whipped in a cross that flew across the goal line, Havenaar was lurking with intent at the far post and got the touch to make it 3-2.
In the seventieth minute Schaken attempted a cross which became a shot that was curling into the top corner of the goal. Kurto in the Excelsior goal pulled off a magnificent save as he tipped the ball over the bar. His save came at some cost, as he fell, his back crashed against the post. He was flat out and players immediately called for the medical teams. He lay motionless on the floor for several minutes before being carried off on a stretcher to the applause of everybody in the stadium. It looked serious and he was driven by ambulance directly to hospital.
In the eighty first minute it was 3-3. Kuwas got the ball at his feet around 35m from goal, there looked to be no danger. He simply just put his head down, twisted and turned through three ADO defenders before unleashing a rocket of a shot that left Hansen grasping at this air, a real wonder strike.
ADO almost snatched the three points in the sixth minute of injury time. A long ball forward by Vito Wormgoor was headed down and laid into the path of substitute Ludcinio Marengo, he hit the shot with power but it hit the top of the cross bar and to safety.
At the final whistle, ADO players collapsed, not believing they had not gotten the three points, Havenaar seen punching the ground with frustration. Two more points dropped at home. A better performance, but need to sort out the individual errors quickly.
Attendance: 10, 667