ADO Den Haag traveled to Tilburg on Wednesday night to take on mid-table Willem II. Could ADO claim a second victory in a row? The answer was yes. The visitors, confident after last Sunday’s solid performance had to be solid at the back, as for the first fifteen minutes it was Willem II who were doing all the pressing and attacking.
Twice the hosts had good opportunities to go in front in the opening period. In the second minute a simple ball released Erik Falkenburg, ADO keeper Robert Zwinkels was quick to react, first blocking and then forcing the forward to wide to get a shot on goal. Two minutes later, Obbi Oulare was left unmarked at the back post from a corner kick. Thankfully for ADO his free header went wide of the upright.
ADO got their first shot on goal in the fifteenth minute. A good sweeping move saw the ball come down to Sheraldo Becker. He drove forward towards goal before unleashing a dipping long range effort. Only the quick feet and agility of Kostas Lamprou in the Willem II prevented a goal.
ADO took the lead in the twenty first minute. Mike Havenaar and Danny Bakker working well to find Nasser El Khayati on the edge of the box. Some amazing quick footed skill baffled the defenders, allowing Khayati to fire into the bottom corner, excellent bit of play, 0-1.
The lead did not last long. Willem II went straight on the hunt for an equaliser. A perfect cross field ball found the head of Pele van Anholt, it was a header that Zwinkels should have dealt with, but the ball somehow slipped his grasp, allowing Oulare to tap into an empty net, 1-1.
The home side almost went in front when a ball into the box was somehow directed goalwards, Zwinkels got down quickly, collected the ball before clearing his area. The break was fast down the left wing. The ball then switched to the other flank, Edouard Duplan and Khayati combined well and finding the feet of Havenaar. THe tall striker spun and got his shot away and into the net, 1-2.
A minute into the second half ADO almost made in three. Khayati inside the edge of the box tried to curl a shot into the top far corner, a great save at full stretch by Lamprou denied what would have been a class goal.
The second half saw the home team with most of the possession. They were making the ADO back line work hard. Crosses kept on going in, but ADO held on solidly to their slender lead.
With five minutes remaining on the clock Willem II pushed on again. From a number of ricochets the ball came to the feet of Elmo Lieftink. He had the whole goal to aim for, his shot was low and powerful, somehow Zwinkels got down quick to his left to force the shot away with a strong arm, an amazing save.
In the fifth minute of added time, the Tilburg side had one more great chance, Lieftink saw his misjudged header go just wide of the post. If he had made good contact, it was have got the home side the draw. The whistle blew and the ADO staff were hugging each other like crazy, great scenes as the players celebrated with the fans.
An entertaining game and three points, a good nights work. Next up ADO face FC Groningen at home on Saturday 8th April, kick-off 19:45. A club card is not needed for this game, just take your photo ID to get your ticket.