After last Sunday’s thrilling 3 v 3 draw at FC Utrecht last week, and other results going in ADO’s favour, the chase for a Europa league play-off spot was 100% back on. An almost sell-out Cars Jeans stadium created a fantastic atmosphere as the teams came onto the pitch.
The start of the game was slow—the only good play coming down ADO’s right wing where Tyronne Ebuehi and Thijmen Goppel were combining well, the latter showing off plenty of individual skill.
To the surprise of everyone in the stadium, it was the visitors who took the lead after thirteen minutes. Twente broke forward, a ball was crossed in low towards the penalty spot—Fredrik Jensen sliding in to put the ball past Indy Groothuizen in the ADO goal, 0-1.
As there were no away fans allowed in the stadium, the goal was greeted with silence. The game became very dull, the ADO supporters tense. For a moment there was relief, as in the thirty-sixth minute Bjørn Johnsen put the ball into the back of the net, cheers turned to boos as the goal was ruled out for offside.
ADO were edging the game as the half-time whistle approached. After some injuries, there were a couple of minutes added time to be played, and ADO made that time count. Tommie Beugelsdijk fought and won two aerial battles. The Twente defence were not quick; Lex Immers forged through two defenders. The ball ran nicely to Johnsen who in one movement struck the ball into the top corner of the net. Great finish from outside the box, 1-1.
ADO started the second half full of intensity. Goppel got free down the wing, again showing off silky skills. His inside pass to Johnsen then created a cross to Nasser El Khayati, who saw his shot well saved by Joel Drommel in the Twente goal.
The home side were creating many chances—the clearest falling to Danny Bakker, who saw his effort go just over the bar from distance. The crowd were roaring ADO forward as they tightened the screw. Yet, on the hour, it was Twente who should have took the lead with a cross into the box that was completely missed by their forwards—huge escape for ADO.
As the Haagse Kwartiertje beckoned, Wilfried Kanon intercepted the ball inside his own half. He launched the ball forward, and Johnsen was ahead of his marker with a calm head, lobbing the ball brilliantly over the oncoming keeper. Sublime finish, 2-1.
It was a nervy end to the game, both sides coming close to scoring. The noise was deafening in the stands. The third minute into stoppage time, Elson Hooi was played in by Johnsen. Sadly for Hooi, he got his legs in a mess and the killer goal went begging. Not to worry, the final whistle then blew and the Cars Jeans stadium erupted.
It was a win they expected, but was more difficult in reality. The three points keeps ADO in the chase for European football, with just three games remaining, everything is bubbling away nicely for ADO Den Haag.
ADO Den Haag’s last home game of the regular season is on Sunday 29th April against PSV Eindhoven, kick-off 14:40, a club card is not needed for this game, but if you want to go, get your tickets as soon as you can!
Text & photos by Neal McClimon of www.adoforexpats.com