What were the KNVB (Dutch Football Association) thinking when they made the fixture list? All the way to Sittard, close to the German Border in Limburg for a 19:45 kick-off on a Wednesday night! Ridiculous planning, yet ADO fans did travel and made themselves heard.
Was it worth the trip? Well, ADO earned a point – how? I am still not quite sure. They had a man advantage for most of the game, yet lacked the urgency and discipline they had shown against Vitesse Arnhem.
The game had nothing much to write about until the thirty second minute. Fortuna were award a free-kick out on the right, when a commotion in the penalty area was brought to the attention of referee Jochem Kamphuis. A straight red card was shown to Sittard’s José Rodriguez, no one knew why. The fans in the away section saw footage on their phones that showed Shaquille Pinas almost get his removed following a vicious elbow to the face.
With a numerical advantage, surely the three points would be heading back to The Hague. Nasser El Khayati could have and should have put ADO in front. Cutting in from the left, he tried to perfectly curl the ball into the top far corner, he missed, when a straight powerful shot would have been so much easier. He can be a real box of magical tricks at times, but too often he tries to be a showman instead of delivering the basics, very frustrating.
Shortly after Lex Immers saw the ball fall kindly to him, took a touch, no thinking, BANG! A solid low drive heading inside the post, only for the home keeper Alexei Koselev to pull off a great fingertip save.
The second half made for better viewing, but for long periods, the game was in the middle third of the pitch. As the home side began to tire, the man advantage looked to be working for ADO. Chances were being created. The substitutions by ADO Fons Groenendijk looked to be a wise move as both Tomas Necid and Erik Falkenburg went close.
Fifteen minutes remaining and Falkenburg saw a header crash against the bar, a goal looked to be coming, but no. In the final moments it was Fortuna who went on the offensive. Their forwards just drove at the heart of the ADO defence, who didn’t dare dive in as it would have certainly been a penalty.
The fans of ADO breathed a sigh of relief as the final whistle blew. ADO almost threw it all away. Fans were not happy but still applauded the players off the pitch.
ADO team: Zwinkels; Malone, Beugelsdijk, Pinas, Meijers; Goossens (61. Necid), El Khayati, Bakker; Becker, Immers, Hooi (61. Falkenburg).
ADO’s next home game is this coming Saturday when they are at home to FC Utrecht, kick-off 18:30. Tickets available on the night.