Late Sunday afternoon ADO Den Haag faced league leaders Feyenoord in the Kyocera stadium. Good news was that club captain Aaron Meijers was back on the pitch after being out with injury since September.
After last week’s shambles at Go Ahead Eagles, many were expecting a heavy defeat at the hands of the Rotterdammers. What the fans saw was probably ADO’s best display of the season. There was fight, passion and attack minded play, they had Feyenoord pegged back at times, defending desperately near the end.
The first half saw ADO being the only side to have clear cut scoring chances. Edouard Duplan and Meijers down the left flank and Tyronne Ebuehi down the right wing kept driving forward. After thirty two minutes Ebuehi broke free, riding a wild challenge before putting a cross into the penalty area. Guyon Fernandez was free at the far post, the ball came across to him, but he totally missed his kick with the goal gaping. Donny Gorter reached the loose ball first and saw his effort kicked off the goal line.
A few minutes later Duplan was played in and from the edge of the area blasted a shot goalwards, only a good save by Brad Jones in the Feyenoord goal prevented ADO taking the lead.
At the half-time whistle the ADO fans screamed their appreciation, a great forty five minutes, close to going ahead and not once did Robert Zwinkels in the ADO goal have any threats to deal with.
Second half started with ADO again on the attack. Feyenoord still no threat on the ADO goal. Sadly for ADO when Feyenoord did get a shot on target it resulted in a goal.
In the sixty second minute, former ADO player Eljero Elia battled with Ebuehi for the ball by the corner flag. The Feyenoorder out muscled the defender and got the ball to Miquel Nelom, his cross fell between a few ADO defenders, but it was Karim El Ahmadi who reacted quickest, instant control of the ball and firing home with power, 0-1.
The game went quiet for ten minutes but then ADO reignited. Ruben Schaken should have been awarded a penalty after seventy two minutes. After a great one two with Duplan he was tripped inside the area by Nelom, but referee Bjorn Kuipers waved away the claims.
Feyenoord almost doubled their lead in the seventy fifth minute. Nicolai Jorgensen aiming to curl a shot just below the bar into the far corner, forcing Zwinkels into a great twisting save.
The final ten minutes saw ADO really going for goal. Their passing play was good, in the end it was a battle between ADO striker Mike Havenaar and Jones in the visitors goal. Jones was especially lucky stopping the first effort, He was falling backwards and Havenaar’s hit his legs. The crowd were really backing the team.
Last action of the game came in the final minute when Feyenoord almost pinched another goal. A long cross was headed towards goal by Bilal Basacikoglu. The ball bouncing agonizingly wide of the far post.
At the final whistle ADO players were deflated, but the fans were proud, it was a game they deserved more from. At times they were truly dominant over the league leaders. The players got a reception on a lap of honour. If ADO can play like this every game, then surely Eredivisie safety is easily within reach. A great game and atmosphere.