ADO Den Haag played away at AZ Alkmaar on Saturday evening with the backing of 456 boisterous and colourful supporters. The crowd at ADO away games has been great all season, numbers growing with each game, even at far flung places on a Wednesday. The passion of the fans is incredible when you consider the performances on the road this season.

Photo courtesy of and with thanks to www.adofans.nl

ADO had a terrible opening to the game, wave after wave of AZ attacks had ADO on the back foot. Every time AZ went forward they looked like scoring. After twenty minutes it could have seen them three or four goals in front. It was only for some brave goalkeeping by ADO keeper Robert Zwinkels and awful finishing that kept the game at 0-0.

Yet after thirty one minutes ADO took a surprise lead. Nasser El Khayati took a corner on the right, Erik Falkenburg met it firmly with his head and the ball flew into the net, great header, 0-1.

A minute later ADO almost doubled their lead. This time Khayati worked himself into a position on the left to fire in a curling shot towards the top far corner, only a great save by Marco Bizot prevented a shock 0-2 lead.

Photo courtesy of and with thanks to www.adofans.nl

The first half ended with ADO the one goal in front. THe second half began with a bang. Forty seven minutes played, Khayati again crossing from the right to pick out again the head of Falkenburg, his header powered home, 0-2. The fans went crazy.

The game had turned, it was ADO who were pushing to extend their lead, AZ looked defeated. The fans in the away end were partying.They split themselves into two groups and taunted each other, it was hilarious. Was the only atmosphere in the stadium as we heard nothing from the AZ fans since the kick-off.

AZ sprung into life with ten minutes remaining. Firstly Bjorn Johnson, ADO’s former striker saw his goal disallowed for a foul on Tommie Beugelsdijk. Then, with five minutes remaining, Albert Gudmundsson swept the ball into the net past Zwinkels, 1-2.

Photo courtesy of and with thanks to www.adofans.nl

The assistant referee then showed there was to be four minutes of added time. Where those four minutes came from was anybody’s guess. But all ADO had to do was remain solid and sensible.

In the first minute of added time Sheraldo Becker was too casual when he collected the ball on the left, he was robbed of the ball with ease. AZ raced forward and the ball came across to Gudmundsson to score his second of the game, 2-2.

ADO fans were feeling robbed, but knew if offered a point at AZ before the kick-off, they would have snatched it. In the fourth minute of stoppage time, Beugelsdijk split the AZ midfield with a stunning pass to Becker. The forward had plenty of work to do, yet he managed to pass the defenders and curl his shot into the far corner of the net. Fans, players and staff went crazy, 2-3.

Photo courtesy of and with thanks to www.adofans.nl

What a brilliant result, nobody saw it coming. The only sour point was seeing Beugelsdijk get a yellow card, which will see him miss the game at PSV next week.

ADO team: Zwinkels; Malone, Beugelsdijk, Pinas, Meijers; Goossens, El Khayati (82. Necid), Bakker (84. Kanon); Becker, Immers, Falkenburg (67. Lorenzen).

ADO Den Haag’s last two home games are in quick succession. Firstly, on Thursday 25th April they face S.B.V. Excelsior, kick-off 18:30. The game following is the last home game of the season against Willem II, kick-off 14:30 on Sunday 28th April. Club cards are not needed, but you may have to get the tickets early, as many areas will sell out.

Text By Neal McClimon of www.ADOforexpats.com
Photos by www.ADOfans.nl