Due to a change of circumstances that has resulted in me no longer having no press access, ADO match reports will now be slightly different. Match reports will still be here until the website stops at the start of march, but will be including what it is like to be a fan of ADO at games from my experience. Many have said I do not get the real picture as I had my place next to the pitch with a camera and not is the stands with the locals. So from now on I’ll be able to tell you what it is like to be an Expat at ADO games.
ADO opened their new restart with a home game to VVV Venlo in the Cars Jeans stadium. A freezing night to watch football, but everyone was looking forward to great start to 2019.
Walking into the area below Vak G behind the goal I immediately bumped into Ian Garratt a cricket loving English guy who started with ADO last season and now has a season ticket. For this he had some other English and American fans with him, introducing his club to his colleagues. We are growing in number.
I took my place in the front row of Vak G with a lot of friends I have made over the years while having camera in hand. Now not on the pitch I could really enjoy the Haagse humour, the chanting and shouts. PLenty of food and beer shared in this ultra modern and safe stadium.
The game itself was packed with action from the first to last minute. ADO started on the attack from the whistle. Melvyn Lorenzen almost opened the scoring after one minute. Wave after wave of attacks had Venlo defending desperately, their captain Danny Post even smashing the ball against his own crossbar.
After thirteen minutes ADO got the breakthrough their play merited. Sheraldo Becker cutting inside from the right and firing a show into the far corner, 1-0.
ADO so dominant and it looked as though they would have the game won by half-time, but the goals didn’t come, their keeper Lars Unnerstall was in inspired form. With two minutes of the half remaining Patrick Joosten got the visitors back on level terms, 1-1.
The second half was totally different, it was Venlo who went on the all out attack. This time it was Robert Zwinkels who had to show his skills in goal. Yet in the fifty first minute there was nothing Zwinkels could do as Joosten curled in a beautiful shot into the far corner, stunning finish, 1-2.
The game became end to end as ADO searched for an equaliser and on the hour they got it. Erik Falkenburg hitting the ball low into the far corner, 2-2.
The game was evenly matched, then disaster for ADO! After a scramble in the ADO penalty area, the ball was played forward and then out of play. Suddenly from nowhere the referee Jeroen Manschot signaled he was going to review the VAR (Video Assistant Referee). After almost three minutes, he showed a straight red card to Zwinkels. The whole stadium was in shock, nobody seemed to have a cue what was going on. TV replays later showed that it looked as though the ADO keeper had deliberately stamped on Peniel Mlapa Mlapa. Not only were ADO punished by being reduced to ten men, The resulting penalty was scored by Mlapa after eighty three minutes, 2-3.
ADO fans were still urging their players forward, even deep into injury time. The game finally over after ninety seven minutes, a swift break from Venlo split ADO open wide, allowing Jay-Roy Jornell Grot to make it 2-4.
Despite the result, for me as a first timer in the stands? I had a blast, the crowd were great, it was fantastic to be amongst it all. I really look forward to the rest of the season, being a real fan, not a camera man.
Don’t be a follower of so called big clubs here in Holland. Be proud to live in this wonderful CITY and SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL TEAM!!!!
A rough start to 2019 for ADO Den Haag. Next week they will be playing away at NAC Breda on Friday night. Text by Neal McClimon of www.adoforexpats.com