ADO v FC Twente

On Friday night ADO Den Haag played at home to FC Twente from Enschede. Despite last week’s loss to Feyenoord, the performance was good, could ADO repeat it? The answer was yes and they earned their first point of 2017.

The crowd was swelled by the attendance of around 700 fans of Legia Warsaw who has been in Holland to watch their team play Ajax the previous night in the Europa league. There is a strong friendship between the two clubs and the atmosphere was electric. So much noise and colour, if ADO could not perform in front of that support, they may as well just give up on Eredivisie survival. But the players did respond, they fought for every ball and chased everything.

Both sides went close in the opening minutes. First Enes Ünal headed over from close range inside two minutes. Then from an errant back pass Danny Bakker pounced on a loose ball, only to see his volley flash just wide of the upright.

In the twelfth minute ADO took the lead. Dion Malone collected the ball inside his own half. He pushed forward before crossing the ball into the area for Guyon Fernandez. His effort was saved, but the rebound rolled out into space. Ruben Schaken raced in to knock the ball home into an empty net, 1-0.

The game was pretty even, then in the twenty fifth minute FC Twente drew level. From a throw in, the ball eventually fell to Ünal on the edge of the penalty area. His shot was struck well, beating the outstretched hands of ADO keeper Robert Zwinkels, 1-1.

ADO were almost back in front with two chance a minute after the visitors had scored. First Fernandez had a close range volley blocked by Marsman in the Twente goal. Then an effort by Malone deflected off the arm of a defender and hit the post. A penalty should have been awarded for the handball.

The end of the first half saw lots of play in midfield, but nothing close to a goal. The second started well for Twente, for the first five minutes they forced ADO into some backs to the wall desperate defending.

The game slowed down a lot, lots of long balls being played forward, but neither side were accurate in their efforts.

It was only in the final five minutes of play did action reappear, and it all came from ADO. A corner on the right was punched clear by Marsman. The ball fell just outside the penalty box for Malone to unleash a fierce strike on goal. Unfortunately the face of Bakker blocked the shot, forcing him to collapse in a heap.

In the third and final minute of injury ADO got a free-kick. It was floated in beautifully towards the far post, sadly ADO’s defender Wilfried Kanon didn’t anticipate the ball reaching him. If he had actually lunged at the ball with his head it would have meant three points for the home side.

It was a decent game, ADO played with pride which was good to see. The atmosphere was stunning and the players got a good response from the fans.