On Sunday afternoon, ADO Den Haag played at home to AZ Alkmaar. ADO have suffered a bad loss of form recently and following a 5-1 thrashing at Feyenoord in the cup. There was an even more dissatisfying result at FC Utrecht. so many errors and lack of passion in the 3-0 defeat. ADO fans were wanting to see something much better against AZ.

ADO coach Fons Groenendijk made changes from his usual starting eleven, the most welcomed one being in goal, as fan favourite Robert Zwinkels returned to being the number one keeper in place of the much criticized Indy Groothuizen. Bas Kuipers, Nick Kuipers and John Goossens also came in.

As the teams came out, it was the Lex Schoenmaker family stand that showed off a great banner, made by the ADO Kids club. Sadly this was the only highlight of the day for ADO. The opening phase was nothing to boast about, plenty of long balls, lots of running from both sides, but a sign of danger was nowhere to be seen. It wasn’t until the seventeenth minute that there was even a strike on goal, and that was a long range effort that went high over the bar by AZ.

After twenty four minutes ADO’s attackers sprang into life. Tomas Necid twice having great chances offered to him following great passes by Dion Malone and then from Elson Hooi. The fans had been making noise from the start, but now the place was rocking as ADO looked to put AZ under pressure, sadly nothing came from that bright period. Half-time saw the teams go in scoreless.

Five minutes into the second period AZ took the lead. A long free-kick into the penalty totally deceived the entire ADO defensive unit, The ball just about kept in play by an outstretched leg saw the ball fall luckily to Guus Til to knock the ball past Zwinkels, very bad defending from a simple set piece 0-1.

Almost from the restart AZ doubled their lead, but a shot went over the bar. The game then returned to the same pattern as the first half. Lots of running for no gain, by both sides. In the seventieth minute ADO came close, a cross from the right acrobatically sent towards the goal by Erik Falkenburg, just missing the target.

AZ were happy to start wasting time and run the clock down. ADO chased and chased, but to no avail. Lex Immers was putting himself everywhere, his never give up attitude applauded by the supporters, real Haagse Bluf!!

AZ almost got a second with five minutes remaining, Oussama Idrissi curling a low shot against the post. The game ended with the one goal victory for the visitors. A game that will not last long in the memory.

Attendance: 12,717

ADO Den Haag’s next home is against De Graafschap on Saturday 8th December, kick-off 20:45. A club card is not needed for this game. Just take a form of photo ID with you to get yourself a ticket from the stadium ticket windows prior to kick-off.

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