After a week of tantrums, rumours and negativity surrounding the club off the pitch, attention returned to the footballing side of things as ADO Den Haag faced FC Utrecht in the Kyocera stadium on Sunday afternoon.
It was not a great day. Missed chances, rd card, yellow cards and zero points in front of a small crowd. Before the kick-off there was a minutes silence in honour of the passing of club icon Aad Mansveld twenty five years ago and also for the Brazilian football team of Chapecoense that tragically died in the plane crash last week.
The game itself was not great viewing. FC Utrecht were the stronger side taking on a disjointed ADO Den Haag. Chances were not plentiful and it wasn’t until the nineteenth minute that there was any goal mouth action. Ernesto Setkus forced to scramble around to collect the ball in a busy area.
In the twenty ninth minute ADO fell behind. Utrecht moved down the left. Yassin Ayoub worked his way to the dead ball line, twisting and turning, his pull back to Nacer Barazite, who was given time and space to turn and shoot found the back of the net, 0-1.
The visitors were creating more chances, only bad finishing saw them not go further in front. In the forty second minute Tom Beugelsdijk was awarded a yellow card for a crunching tackle on the very edge of the area on Ayoub.
First half over and ADO did not even come close to threatening the Utrecht goal. The second half was better on the eye and early on came so close to leveling the score. Five minutes in and Mike Havenaar won the ball inside his own half, his long ball into space saw Gervane Kastaneer racing towards goal. With only the keeper to beat he calmly slotted the ball past the keeper only to see his effort hit the post and rebound back to the arms of David Jensen.
The game got scruffy, Thomas Meißner got a yellow card for drawing bloody after an elbow to the head. Setkus was forced to make more saves as Utrecht dominated possession. In the seventy third minute, best moment of the game. A stunning flying volley from Utrecht’s Barazite that flew into the goal, only to be disallowed for offside, but great skill.
More doom and gloom for ADO, as in the seventy fifth minute Beugelsdijk was shown a red card for a second bookable offence after standing on the foot of Barazite. So down to ten men with the inspirational captain off.
Eighty minutes played and ADO were awarded a free-kick just outside the Utrecht penalty area after a shot was blocked by the arms. Achraf El Mahdioui struck a brilliant effort which once again crashed off the frame of the goal, it was not to be ADO’s day.
The final nail in the coffin came in the eighty third minute when Utrecht cut ADO’s defence apart. Richairo Zivkovic laying the ball inside to a total unguarded Sébastien Haller who had the easy job of rolling the ball into an empty net, 0-2.
A bad day at the office for ADO. The Hague side now dropping into fifteenth position, just two points above the relegation zone. To make matters worse. With the cards shown to Beugelsdijk and Thomas Meißner means both will be missing from the team at NEC Nijmegen next Saturday.