On Saturday, ADO Den Haag returned to league action after the Eredivisie Winter break, taking on VVV Venlo in the Cars Jeans stadium.
ADO started off with the same mentality they ended 2017. From the kick-off they were on the front foot, fast pace, never letting the opposition settle on the ball. Yet it was Venlo who almost took the lead, thankfully Lennart Thy could not make decent contact with the ball. ADO forced mistakes and had some sights on goal. Bjørn Johnsen twice going close.
Third time lucky for Johnsen in the twenty third minute. A corner on the right ended up on the edge of the penalty area. Danny Bakker shot and Johnsen managed to stick a foot out and directed the ball into the back of the net, neat finish by the big man, 1-0.
As the stadium clock reached the twenty sixth minute, a huge applause spread across the stadium. This was to remember ADO supporter Donny Westen who tragically passed away last week. A moment to remember someone who at 26 had so much to live for. A hairs on the back of your neck moment.
After taking the lead ADO stopped pressurizing the opposition. They allowed the visitors to settle. In the closing stages of the half, Venlo had several chances to get level before the break.
The second half did not make for great viewing. Both sides seemed unable to move forward. The game sparked back into life when Johnsen tried to lob the keeper from distance, the ball ending on the roof of the net. Instead of boosting ADO’s confidence, Venlo’s play improved.
ADO were starting to hang on to the three points. Vito van Crooij saw his effort hit the ADO crossbar. Venlo were finding space in behind the ADO back line. You could sense an equaliser coming as VVV opened up ADO.
Venlo then got the goal their pressure deserved. The goal itself a disaster of ADO’s own making. Nasser El Khayati took a free-kick from just outside the Venlo penalty box. No idea what the plan was, but the ball just rolled into empty space. Venlo cleared the ball long up field, a knock on saw Johnatan Opoku race through unmarked for a one on one with Robert Zwinkels. Opoku kept his nerve and slotted the ball home, 1-1.
After going a goal behind, ADO woke up and Aaron Meijers and Tyronne Ebuehi worked hard down the wings trying to create an opening. Yet it was Venlo who almost took all three points. In the ninetieth minute Mats Seuntjens saw a powerful shot get brilliantly saved by Zwinkels.
A game ADO had control of and let it slip and almost ended losing the game. They drop one place to eighth in the Eredivisie. Next Sunday they travel to Rotterdam to face Feyenoord in the Kuip.