On Sunday ADO Den Haag were hoping to continue their good run of form. After claiming ten points from the last possible twelve, confidence was high as they faced Excelsior of Rotterdam in the late kick-off. The good news, after the soap opera surrounding Tommie Beugelsdijk, an alleged elbow at NAC Breda and a comical investigation by the KNVB (Dutch football association) the important defender was able to play.
ADO got off to a slow start as the visitors appetite for the game looked stronger. Excelsior quickly got their early reward. After seven minutes, a break down the left wing saw them tear the home defence apart. Jinty Caenepeel was left free inside the penalty area and had the simple chance to put the ball past Robert Zwinkels, 0-1.
The tackling was tough and after getting a deserved yellow card earlier, Eduardo Duplan then was chasing back and slid in to a tackle. There was no contact, no moaning from Excelsior players, then to the amazement of the whole stadium, referee Serdar Gözübüyük produced a second yellow, then the red card and sent Duplan from the pitch. So After twenty six minutes ADO were up for an uphill battle.
ADO kept their heads and looked stronger after a bit of reorganisation. Then in the thirty second minute ADO got their equaliser. ADO went down the middle, a great pass found Bjørn Johnsen, his powerful shot was brilliantly saved by Ogmundur Kristinsson, he managed to push the ball wide, only for it to fall to Sheraldo Becker who had an open goal to aim for, 1-1.
The end of the first half and for most of the second, the play was poor, no chances created. The tackling was getting harder, Lex Immers lucky not to see a red card after a wild challenge, when no tackle was needed. Tempers were rising as the clock counted down.
The game looked to be heading for a draw until the eighty first minute. The visitors broke forward down the left. The ball was played across the edge of the penalty box, where Hicham Faik was lurking, his first time shot was swept with accuracy into the corner, giving Zwinkels in the ADO goal, no chance, 1-2.
After going a goal down, ADO players and fans upped the pressure. The crowd were screaming, ADO playing more first time crosses into the danger area. ADO did come close, but couldn’t break the Excelsior defence, even Zwinkels was up in attack. The final whistle blew and ADO had lost for the first time since August 26th.