The Dutch giants of Feyenoord from Rotterdam came to The Hague to take on ADO in the Kyocera yesterday afternoon. A good sized crowd created a great atmosphere knowing a win for the home side would more or less mean safety away from the relegation battle.
The party atmosphere before kick-off
Another special day for the ADO supporters too, as this was the game that marked the fifth anniversary of the club moving away from the old stadium in Zuiderpark. To Mark this event, there were some great fan displays from both the Midden Noord and Vak G behind the goal, new banners and over 250 explosive streamers, stunning stuff.
The match was going to be hard one for ADO after they had humiliated Feyenoord away in the Kuip 0-3 earlier in the season, something the Rotterdammers would want to put right. The bad news prior to kick-off was that Christian Kum was still suffering with his hamstring problem and would not be playing again. Worse was to follow, Omeruo had a late fitness test and was deemed unfit to play after injuring himself in training on Saturday.
Vicento battles against the odds
The first half started well for ADO, they looked up for this game and battled hard to get into the danger zones of Feyenoord; yet as the minutes passed, Feyenoord gained control. Coutinho had to be most alert as on more than one occasion the visiting forwards found their way through in on goal. You could tell that the ADO back line were really missing the influence of Kum and Omeruo, they looked nervous and unsure.
ADO had their moments, they rarely threatened a goal, yet they were throwing themselves at everything in a very brave fashion, unfortunately it was all too easy for Feyenoord to clear up.
As the second half began an announcement for an evacuation came over the speaker system, asking people to leave etc. This went on for around three minutes and drove everybody crazy. People just looked at each other in wonderment. Nobody moved as the game was still in progress. I believe this also had a factor in ADO going a goal behind. As everybody was looking at each other wondering what to do; the Feyenoord support exploded into life celebrating a goal. I admit, I missed it as did a lot of other people, but in the forty-sixth minute, Ruben Schaken scored, 0-1.
Smolarek fights for possession
After the goal ADO seemed to be a totally different team to that of the first half. They looked tired and seemed to be missing their self belief. Passes were going wildly astray, communication was gone, and ADO looked totally lost on home territory.
Maurice Steijn made what for most was a shock substitution. On the hour he took off Smolarek; who for me was the most industrious hard working players on the field and replaced him with Elbers. Shortly after that he replaced Chery with Mike van Duinen. The latter change was well received by the crowd after his metatarsal injury; van Duinen’s introduction saw an up surge in ADO’s efforts to claw a goal back, but it didn’t happen.
In the seventieth minute Feyenoord increased their lead. A long ball to Guyon Fernandez saw him beat Visser for pace and fire a shot past Coutinho into the back of the net, 0-2.
ADO bucked their ideas up in the final ten minutes of the game. Vicento on the left and Elbers and Ammi trying to force their way forward down the wings, unfortunately the midfield acted like headless chickens, running around with no sense of what was going on, it was awful to watch. Eventually Vicento got some reward for his constant efforts on the flanks.
The last minute of normal time was running down when Vicento made a run into the area, his marker dragged him to the floor and the referee Pieter Vink had no option but to award a penalty kick. Lex Immers, the man wanted by Feyenoord stepped up to take the shot. The keeper Erwin Mulders guessed the right way to dive, but the penalty was hard enough and so well placed that he had no chance to save it, 1-2.
Immers scores from the penalty spot
The final minutes of added time saw ADO throw what they could at the Feyenoord defence, yet there was no way through. At the final whistle the stadium emptied very quickly as the home side did a muted lap of honour. Some players looked hurt by the defeat, not a nice situation to witness, but great to see they feel the pain of a loss like the fans.
Coutinho feels the pain of defeat
Next week ADO travel to VVV Venlo in a game that really is of vital importance. A win for ADO would basically see them safe from relegation play-offs, a defeat would mean some nail biting for all concerned with ADO Den Haag.
Attendance: 13, 248
ADO Man of the Match: Ebi Smolarek, The most industrious player on the pitch until substituted.
The next home game is the last game of this season and is to be played on Sunday, 6 May against De Graafschap; kick-off time is at 14:30. A club card is required for this match. The ticket office is open on Tuesday 13:00 - 18:00, Wednesday and Thursday 12:00 - 18:00 and on Friday between 12:00 - 20:00.
Text & Photos by Neal McClimon