A midweek game saw ADO Den Haag hosting Vitesse Arnhem in the Cars Jeans stadium early Thursday evening. The game proving not to be for the more nervous of ADO fans as ADO went from strong attacking, to hanging on for dear life towards the end.

The opening ten minutes saw the home side in full forward gear. Sheraldo Becker was causing the Vitesse defence all sorts of problems from the start. ADO should have made the open pressure count, but efforts from Erik Falkenburg, Bjørn Johnsen and Becker were foiled by desperate defending and good goalkeeping.

Vitesse didn’t get close to the ADO goal until the eleventh minute, that one effort going over the bar. The game settled, ADO in control of possession, but not creating clear cut chances. Some of the midfield combinations worked beautifully, but were unable to unopen the visitors back line. So the half ended 0-0. As too often ADO were dominating play, but still can’t kill off teams early when they were in control.

The second half was not great to watch from the kick-off, that was until the fifty third minute. Captain, Aaron Meijers feed the ball to Nasser El Khayati who in turn played a long ball into space. Becker left his marker behind and raced in on goal. One on  one with the keeper Remko Pasveer, the forward kept his cool and shot the ball through the keepers legs into the net, great finish, 1-0.

Only when behind did Vitesse come out of their shell. They pushed ADO back, yet as with ADO in the first half, Vitesse couldn’t find that killer ball to get through on goal. In the sixty sixth minute, only a fantastic sliding block from Tommie Beugelsdijk prevented Mitchell van Bergen from equalizing.

Bryan Linssen and Mason Mount tried to get Vitesse back on level terms, but the shots were wide or placed directly at Robert Zwinkels in the ADO games. The referee added an extra four minutes, which saw fans biting their nails as Vitesse would not give up. The ADO played sensible defensive football. Hitting the ball into the far corners where Lex Immers held the ball up until the final whistle blew.

A game that could have been easier for ADO if they could only get the final ball into to the strikers when they are so much in command of the play. However, the three points is all that matters, as showed with the players partying with the fans at the end. Next up is the long trip away to Groningen on Sunday, kick-off 16:45.

Text & photos by Neal McClimon of www.adoforexpats.com