Wednesday night in Rotterdam’s famous Kuip stadium. ADO took on Feyenoord in the final eight of the Beker (cup). A huge game for the demoralized supporters of ADO Den Haag, a win would lift everything and everyone around the club. A full stadium would also benefit ADO, as they get a share of the ticket income. So if all went to plan, it would be an ideal early Christmas gift.
Well in the end, ADO only got the financial reward as on the field they lost heavily 5-1. ADO started well and looked confident, that confidence didn’t last long as soon Feyenoord put ADO under much pressure. In the eighth minute Feyenoord came close to breaking the deadlock, a stooping header by Dirk Kuyt forced ADO’s cup keeper Robert Zwinkels into a good save.
ADO were backed by fantastic traveling support, 1,200 fans high behind the goal giving the team a lot of vocal backing, which continued throughout the whole ninety minutes. This got ADO going again and two players were standing out for ADO, Hector Hevel and Achraf El Mahdioui. They worked the midfield areas well and got ADO into the game with their energy.
From twenty five minutes on Feyenoord took over and were creating space and chances, again Kuyt going close. Then in the thirty fourth minute the home side went ahead. Zwinkels passed the ball out to Thomas Meißner, who for some bizarre reason played a soft ball sideways without looking, Feyenoord pounced and earned a corner. From the resulting kick, Nicolai Jørgensen found himself free inside the box and was able to head the ball into the net, 1-0.
As the teams walked off the pitch at half-time, the ADO trainer looked to be fuming with anger. Would not have wanted to be a player in the dressing room. Whatever he said fell on deaf ears. In the forty eighth minute Meißner’s day went from bad to worse. He was judged to have been holding Jørgensen in the penalty area, the referee, Ed Janssen saw it and awarded a penalty. Kuyt stepped up to send Zwinkels the wrong way, 2-0.
Feyenoord really began to hurt ADO. They were winning every ball, ADO actually looked as though they had already given up, allowing even more space for the home side to work in. In the sixty third minute Kuyt scored again, a cross by Jørgensen saw the veteran forward slide in to make it 3-0.
The fourth goal soon followed, in the sixty eighth minute Karim El Ahmadi twisted through ADO’s non tackling defensive to fire low past Zwinkels into the bottom of the far corner. ADO simply not i the game, no spirit, heart or fight, 4-0.
The fifth goal came in the seventy ninth minute. A long kick by Feyenoord keeper Brad Jones was met by a mistimed header from Tommie Beugelsdijk. Kuyt raced on, beat Zwinkels but was felled by the keeper. A clear goal scoring opportunity, so by law it should have been a red card, but the ref allowed Zwinkels to stay on the pitch. The referee had been making some odd decisions throughout the game, but that was the most glaring one. Kuyt exacted full punishment putting away his second penalty and securing his hat-trick, 5-0.
The game the lost all its passion. ADO managed to squeeze in a consolation goal. A cross into the box from the left was met by Gervane Kastaneer, who finished the move off neatly, 5-1. At least this gave something to the fabulous support to cheer about, the fans had been amazing.
The final whistle blew and looking at it, ADO just did not want to play as a team. There are cliques forming on the pitch. Only a couple of players can say they performed well. Tactics are wrong, ADO don’t have the money to change the playing staff to match the tactics, so tactics must be changed to suit the players. Only one more game to come now in the league, this Sunday at home to Sparta. A win is most definitely needed.