Sunday was the day of ADO’s biggest home game of the season, the match against fierce rivals Ajax of Amsterdam. A sell out crowd filled the stadium with such a raucous, vibrant colourful and noisy atmosphere that the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. The sight that greeted the players as they took to the pitch was stunning, the crowd were behind their team 100%.
Straight from the kick-off Ajax took control of the game. ADO looked as though they were going to play for the draw from the start, relying on their much improved defence. This seemed to be a strange approach to the game, as Ajax have not been at their best of late.
Boussaboun battles for the ball
Despite Ajax’s possession there were few shots on goal, all of which were weak or way off target, Coutinho never had a thing to worry about throughout the first forty five minutes.
Immers and Boussaboun tried hard to get in amongst the Ajax players to put them off their stride, for a period they looked like the perfect first line of defence for ADO, the fans were loving to see this spirit from their players.
Immers gets fouled
In the twenty fifth minute ADO found themselves facing an uphill task. The ball was loose between Boussaboun and Vurnon Anita and as both players went into the challenge, Boussaboun was adjudged by the referee, Bas Nijhuis to have gone over the top and issued the ADO player a straight red card.
Boussaboun gets his red card
After the sending off, it looked as though the referee had taken to Ajax, as ASDO were being penalised for the slightest touch of an opponent. This not only infuriated the crowd but also the players.
ADO were the closest to taking the lead when, in the thirty-sixth minute, Immers was played in by the headed pass of Chery, only to see him blast the ball high over the bar, a great opportunity wasted. .
At the half-time whistle, the home crowd seemed happy with the way the game had gone, apart from the refereeing that was; as Nijhuis was jeered as he left the pitch. An interesting half but lacked any real excitement.
Charlton Vicento started the second half in place of Visser. This introduction was what the ADO team needed, an injection of pace and individual skill to take on opponents.
Ajax took the lead on forty-eight minutes, when a quick interplay between Jody Lukoki and Theo Janssen saw Luksik faltering in the wake of Lukoki. The Ajax substitute cut into the penalty and despatched a curling low shot into the far corner giving Coutinho no chance, a superb finish, 0-1.
In the sixty-first minute Ajax extended their lead, defender Jan Vertonghen showed all the calmness of a world class striker as he was put clear by Ismail Aissati and allowed to pass the ball accurately into the corner of the goal, another classy finish, 0-2.
ADO almost pulled a goal back when Toornstra broke up Ajax possession and played in Vicento, the ADO striker had to stretch to make contact with the ball, his effort saved by Kenneth Vermeer.
Vicento goes close to scoring
ADO never gave up hope of a fight back. Their effort was commendable as Vicento, Immers and Toornstra tried in vain to make a clear break away.
The referee was antagonising the ADO team, especially when Chery was chopped at the knee by Janssen, the challenge looked worse than the earlier one by Boussaboun, yet Nijhuis deemed it only worthy of a yellow card. The crowd were incensed and berated the referee with some choice words in their chanting. The stadium announcer calling for it to stop before the referee took the players off the field.
At the final whistle the crowd applauded their heroes and jeered Ajax. As a spectacle, it was really a non event. Can ADO take anything from this game? Yes, I believe they can. They showed fight and spirit when reduced to ten men. It was not a pretty performance, but a gutsy one, something along with the previous two performances they can continue to build on.
Attendance: 15, 000
ADO man of the match: Lex Immers; ran his heart out and fought to the end.
Next home game is on Saturday 24 March against FC Twente; kick-off time is at 20.45. A club card is not required for this match. The ticket office is open on Tuesday 13:00 – 18:00, Wednesday & Thursday 12:00 – 18:00 and on Friday between 12:00 -20:00.
Text & Photos by Neal McClimonGo back