After the International break for World Cup qualifiers, ADO Den Haag returned to action with a game in Tilburg against Willem II. After a disappointing start to the season, collecting zero points and scoring only one goal in their opening three games, ADO and their fans were hoping for a change in fortune.
The wishes were answered as ADO claimed their first three points of the season thanks to two goals from Nasser El Khayati, one in each half. The win didn’t come easy, as in the first ten minutes, ADO were forced to sit back as Willem II went on the search for their first points of the season too.
The tension in the stadium was there for all to feel, losing was not an option for either side. As the game progressed the possession evened out, but chances were not being created. Elson Hooi was twisting his marker inside out on the left wing and it was he who got fouled to have the referee award a penalty kick in the thirty second minute. El Khayati took control of the situation and placed the ball on the white spot. It was a great confident strike, giving Timon Wellenruether no chance of saving it, 0-1.
The action died down until the break. The second half saw the home side determined to get back into the game. They were breaking ADO down and it was causing fingers to be pointed at each other as at times ADO resulted to desperate clearances.
Yet it was ADO, who on the break almost doubled their lead. Sheraldo Becker hitting a stunning long range shot that had Wellenruether scrambling back to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Willem II got level in the seventy seventh minute. The ball was played into the box and an almighty scramble broke out, yet the luck was on the side of the hosts as Francisco Sol Ortiz fired home, 1-1.
The game was end to end stuff, several claims for penalties, Robert Zwinkels forced into action to make vital saves. ADO looked like the team more likely to score, and so it proved to be. As the home fans loudly urged their side on, ADO broke free. El Khayati had the ball at his feet, he moved inside, the defender facing him had no idea where he was going, before the ADO winger hit a beautiful shot into the net, amazing accuracy, 1-2.
ADO tried to run the clock down, but during the three minutes of injury time, the hosts stormed forward and from a tight angle, a combination of agility from Zwinkels and the frame of the goal kept Willem II out.
The three points were well received by the traveling support, who’d been very vocal throughout. Everybody looked very contented as they left the field, as well as tired as Willem II really forced the ADO players to work hard. The next game up for ADO is the tiny matter of Ajax at home next Sunday.