On Friday night, in front of a great crowd, ADO Den Haag started the new season with a home game at the Cars Jeans stadium against FC Utrecht. Optimism was high after ten straight win in the pre-season build up. Sadly the hope of a great start to the season disappeared to a fast attacking visiting side.
ADO started brightly, Sheraldo Becker being played clean through for a one on one with the Utrecht keeper, David Jensen. Becker took the ball too close allowing the keeper to spread himself and prevent ADO from taking a second minute lead.
ADO were passing quickly and directly, but when they lost the ball, Utrecht were so fast on the counter attack it left ADO defenders in their wake and in the fifteenth minute they took the lead. Gyrano Kerk hit a long range effort that smashed against the crossbar, leaving Robert Zwinkels in the ADO goal grasping at air. The rebound fell nicely for Cyriel Dessers to tap into the empty net, 0-1. TV replays showed the goal should have been ruled out for offside.
The game was pretty even as the match progressed. In the thirty fifth minute ADO played the ball forward to their new giant striker, Bjørn Johnsen. The powerful Norwegian twisted and turned the Utrecht defence inside out to make space to fire a shot. His low effort hitting the base of the far post.
The first half ended 0-1. The second half started much the same as the first, ADO slightly edging the possession. Then in the fifty fifth minute Utrecht doubled their lead. Utrecht worked the ball forward fast, when the ball was played out wide to the left, Urby Emanuelson floated the ball across the area for Sander van de Streek to head the ball into the net, 0-2.
Just after going two goals behind ADO took of Eduardo Duplan and replaced him with Melvyn Lorenzen. This substitution lit a spark in ADO and they started to create chance after chance.
In quick succession Tommie Beugelsdijk headed a cross against the bar, Becker saw a chance well saved by Jensen. Then the keeper was forced into a magnificent save from an effort by Johnsen. ADO then created their fourth great chance in five minutes, Donny Gorter dragged his shot just wide of the post. All great play by ADO and the fans reacted with a crescendo of noise from the stands.
With ADO pushing forward so much, eventually the speedy attack of Utrecht would eventually find space to finish ADO off. In the eighty first minute, a simple long ball split the defence, Dresser kept his cool and calmly slotted the ball low beyond Zwinkels reach.
The final whistle blew and ADO looked shell shocked. Despite the big home defeat, the fans rewarded the players with good applause. It was just one of those nights, ADO were just not going to score if they played all night.