De Vrij’s inclusion against ADO was in doubt until the very last moment, as the club captain had to leave training early on Friday with an ankle problem. But while De Vrij came through the pre-match warm-up okay to start the game, he only lasted 25 minutes all told. A collision with a home striker left the Dutch international with a nasty head wound and he was stretchered off. His replacement was Miquel Nelom, with Bruno Martins Indi switching to central defence to partner Joris Mathijsen.
The loss of De Vrij was not the only disappointment for Feyenoord ahead of the break. An early goal from Mike van Duinen, who poked in a cross from the right at the near post, left the Rotterdammers chasing the game. The vital second goal fell to the home side too. Daryl Janmaat was adjudged to have fouled Tjaronn Chery in the box on 37 minutes. Danny Holla converted the spot kick to leave Feyenoord with much to do in the second half.
The hosts’ lead was well deserved on balance. ADO were stronger in the tackle, cutting off the supply to the Feyenoord forwards. Even so, Ruben Schaken went close on two occasions before half time. The most glaring chance came just after the half-hour mark. A deep ball from Graziano Pellè gave Schaken a free run on goal. The equaliser looked on, but Schaken was unable to beat keeper Gino Coutinho. Just on half time Schaken managed to get past Coutinho, but his shot was cleared off the ball by defender Vito Wormgoor.
Aware that they needed at least two goals to keep their second-place dreams alive, Feyenoord started the second half in attacking mood. Ronald Koeman’s men had found it hard to cope with ADO’s pressing game before the break, but in the second half they were able to push their hosts back into their own half.
While Feyenoord could not replicate their recent performances against Heracles Almelo and Vitesse, there was every reason to believe that they could pull a goal back to get back into the game. The home side rode their luck at times, not least when Pellè headed just wide with around fifteen minutes to go.
Feyenoord kept going and were rewarded with a penalty of their own deep into injury time, when Pellè was fouled in the box. But it was perhaps symptomatic of Feyenoord’s second half showing in The Hague that the Italian skied his effort. It ended the Rotterdammers’ hopes of a Champions League qualification. ADO Den Haag – Feyenoord 2-0
10’ 1-0 Van Duinen
37’ 2-0 Holla (penalty) Remark:
Penalty miss by Pellè (Feyenoord) (90+5’) Referee:
Omeru (ADO Den Haag) Teams:
ADO Den Haag:
Coutinho; Malone, Wormgoor, Omeruo, Koppers; Jansen, Holla, Meijers (90' Visser); Chery, Van Duinen (83’ Leeuwin), Vicento (62’ Kolk). Feyenoord:
Mulder; Janmaat, De Vrij (25’ Nelom), Mathijsen, Martins Indi; Clasie, Immers, Vilhena (64’ Vormer); Schaken, Pellè, Goossens (72’ Verhoek).