Excelsior will leave a bitter aftertaste to the first game with ADO Den Haag in the final of the playoffs for promotion to the Premier League. Marouan Azarkan seemed to be the match winner at Woudestein, but Sem Steijn tied in injury time.
Excelsior had the upper hand from the first minute. Coach Marinus Dijkuizen‘s team had the ball frequently, while ADO was lurking on the counter. Reuven Niemeijer was closest to a goal after more than fifteen minutes, but goalkeeper Hugo Wentges brought rescue. In addition, the midfielder turned out to be sidelined. Azarkan was also dangerous, but again it did not yield a goal.
Excelsior was lord and master in his own home, played football quite nicely at times, but it lacked sharpness in the final phase. That changed shortly after halftime. After a good ball from backwards, ADO was not paying attention to a cross, after which Azarkan took advantage. Through Thijs Dallinga, the people of Rotterdam were given a chance to win the 2-0, but then failed to press through.
In the final phase, Excelsior had to squeeze the buttocks for Excelsior. Thomas Verheydt was barely featured in the play, but still got a chance four minutes before time. While his teammates wanted a penalty kick because of hands, striker saw Stijn van Gassel save on his bet. As a result, Excelsior seemed to be able to get a close win, but Steijn stood up for that in injury time in a nice way. He detonated the exit after a good head of Verheydt.
Due to the draw, it comes to Sunday’s return in The Hague.