On Saturday night ADO Den Haag faced PEC Zwolle in the Kyocera stadium. There was a lot of pressure on the players to perform as they took on the team below them in the final relegation position.
ADO started well enough, putting early pressure on the visitors. Soon after man of the match Ernesto Setkus was forced into his first of many saves of the night. Each team looked to be taking turns to have a turn with the ball.
In the tenth minute ADO took the lead. ADO won a corner on the right hand side. Achraf El Mahdioui crossed towards the near post. Gervane Kastaneer rose highest and powered home a header just inside the near post. With rumours going around that he may be moving to German side FSV Mainz he raced across towards the Midden Noord to celebrate wildly, 1-0.
Just three minutes after scoring the young forward had to leave the pitch. As he kicked the ball close to the touchline, the ball rebounded at speed back into his eye off a Zwolle defender. It was later reported that his eye injury was bad enough that the club doctor insisted he was substituted and go to hospital for treatment.
With ADO temporarily down to ten men, PEC took control and almost earned a penalty, as Ryan Thomas raced through the home side’s defence and fell inside the box after tangling with Tommie Beugelsdijk. The referee Christiaan Bax was away calls for a spot kick to be given. TV replays later showed Tommie was lucky to get away with it.
For a short period, ADO began to play some neat, fast one and two touch football, all intricate, yet sadly the final cross was not being made into the danger area. For a while, some of the best play ADO have shown this season.
In the thirty eighth minute PEC drew level. Thomas played a ball through to Kingsley Ehizibue inside the area. He looked to be offside, but he took control and calmly slotted the ball home into the corner past the outstretched hands of Setkus, 1-1.
The first half was pretty much even, the second was definitely under control by PEC. Within sixty seconds of the restart Setkus was forced into making a double save.
Fifty five minutes played and ADO went behind. Former ADO captain Danny Holla played the ball out wide to Ehizibue, his ball across the area beat the ADO back line and at the back post Nicolai Brock-Madsen had the easiest tap in, 1-2.
ADO heads dropped and within a minute of going behind, Setkus was called upon again to make a decent save. ADO lacked a passion for a period. This in turn saw some of the crowd calling for Eduardo Duplan to be given his chance to come on.
ADO had one chance to get level. Ruben Schaken, who worked really hard all game, found himself inside the box. With twists and turns he created space enough to fire on goal. Mickey van der Hart saving low at the near post.
Zwolle were still making chances and could have won by more than 1-2. Duplan was finally given his chance in the eighty fourth minute. He certainly made his presence well known as he came on in fighting mode. In the middle of a scuffle and arguing a lot with opposition players and the referee, it looked as though he may get a red card.
The game ended to a chorus of boos and jeers from the home fans. Fair play to the ADO team, they walked across as one to the Midden Noord as accepted the fury of the fans. The support recognised this and after venting their frustration they clapped the players.