ADO Den Haag finished 2016 on a victorious note, beating Sparta Rotterdam in a scruffy game. Due to ADO’s predicament of late, you could feel the tension in the stadium amongst supporters, plus you could see it on the players faces as they warmed up.
ADO had plenty of the ball in the first thirty minutes, but could do nothing with it. Some of the passing was dreadful and the final balls aimed towards the penalty area were terrible. Not only ADO, but also Sparta found it difficult to string any decent passes together.
The thirty third minute saw the first real goal threat. Wilfried Kanon was able to get wide left and cut inside. He rifled a shot that looked to be heading into the top far corner, only a tremendous save by the visiting keeper Roy Kortsmit. In the forty first minute, it was Ruben Schaken on the right who moved inside to shoot, Kortsmit again pulling off a fine save.
That was it for goal mouth action in the first half. The second half proved little better, the home fans were getting restless and were booing failed attempts at passing and ball control, Sheraldo Becker getting the worst of it, but he would get the final laugh.
Fifty seven minutes in and Gervane Kastaneer played the best pass of the day, releasing Schaken to race down the right flank. He beat the defender, and faced the keeper, his prodded pass across the area was perfectly timed for Becker to slot home the easiest goal he’ll ever score. He turned away to celebrate, cupping his ears in response to his tormentors, all forgiven, 1-0.
Sparta were not a side to give up and started to produce some decent football. In the sixty ninth minute ADO keeper Ernesto Setkus produced a brilliant double save from point blank range, leaving Zakaria El Azzouzi and Craig Goodwin frustrated. Setkus was being kept busy, but matched anything Sparta could throw at him.
With ten minutes remaining ADO went down to ten men. Hector Hevel getting a second yellow card for a flying tackle on El Azzouzi. This numerical advantage saw the heads of the Sparta players lift. This almost cost them to concede a second goal. Eighty three minutes were played when Tyronne Ebuehi was set free down the right. He closed in on goal and sadly lost his composure, beating the keeper and also the upright.
There were five minutes added extra time. Sparta twice almost snatched a point. Firstly Setkus had to make another great save, tipping the ball over the bar from close range. Then the guests saw an effort just pass over the cross bar.
The final whistle blew and ADO fans, players and staff erupted. The coach Zeljko Petrovic punching the air wildly. The players did a lap of honour and basked in the fans cheers. A good result to end the year. Hopefully by the time the season restarts after the Winter break the off-field turmoil will have settled and footballing matter will be the only thing for ADO to worry about.
Attendance: 12, 691