PSV eliminated from Cup tournament, minus 12 degrees expected in Den Haag

PSV Graffiti at the Philips Stadium. Photo Credit: Joey van der Hart

PSV failed to qualify for the next round of the KNVB Cup and are now active only in two more competitions. One of them is the Eredivisie, and the first upcoming match – against ADO – is brought forward in the hope the afternoon sun will make for better circumstances.

The match in Amsterdam wasn’t what Eindhoven had hoped for. Ajax had had a rough week, mentally, so the hope was alive that PSV would maybe make use of that and make a turnaround. The match slipped from PSV in the second half, not long ago in January.

Roger Schmidt started with Unnerstall; Dumfries, Teze, Boscagli, Max; Rosario, Sangaré; Mauro Júnior, Ihattaren; Zahavi and Malen. The bench was kept warm by Delanghe and Mvogo, Baumgartl, Fein, Guti, Obispo, Piroe, Thomas, Vertessen and Van Ginkel.

Erik ten Hag couldn’t start with Onana (pun intended), and sent the following eleven to the pitch: Stekelenburg; Mazraoui, Timber, Martínez, Tagliafico; Álvarez, Klaassen, Blind; Antony, Haller, Tadić. The bench was available for Brobbey, Ekkelenkamp, Idrissi, Klaiber, Kudus, Labyad, Neres,  Raatsie, Rensch, Scherpen, Schuurs and Traoré.

With the roof closed to keep the cold and snow out, at least there wasn’t any reason to complain about circumstances. Both teams kicked off at 20:00 (8 PM) under the guidance of Serdar Gözübüyük.

First Half

Ajax started the match with five different players than in January. Maarten Stekelenburg replaced the suspended André Onana, Jurrien Timber and Lisandro Martínez were central defenders instead of Per Schuurs and Daley Blind, who took over duties from the suspended Ryan Gravenberch and Sébastien Haller started instead of Zakaria Labyad.

PSV started with Lars Unnerstall instead of Yvon Mvogo, according to the custom during Cup matches this season. Cody Gakpo was replaced by Mauro Júnior, in the last month of the Eredivisie due to the winger’s injury. The main difference probably was the tactical plan of Erik ten Hag, which enabled Ajax to force their will upon Roger Schmidt’s eleven.

Ajax got their first free-kick after 10 minutes, but Dusan Tadić fired straight into the PSV wall. Five minutes later Eran Zahavi got the first chance for PSV, but he hadn’t enough length and power to head Mohamed Ihattaren’s assist hard on target. Donyell Malen’s shot, two minutes later, also lacked power.

PSV struggled to play away from under the pressure, and in the 19th minute Sébastien Haller put the 1-0 on the scoreboard after a strong and smooth attack. Ihattaren did something back, but this time his assist went past the second goal post. Several minutes later, Haller hit home again, and PSV started looking like a small boy who tried wrestling a grown man.

Philip Max’s fowl on Noussair Mazroui in the 32nd minute was symbolic of what happened on the pitch. PSV couldn’t keep the ball in the team, they were often late and had their own defenders running after Ajax’ defenders, who got all freedom in the wings.

A couple of opportunities came up, but turned into no real danger for goalie Stekelenburg. The ultimate chance for the connection goal came for Donyell Malen, but he continued where he left off last week and fired it along the wrong side of the post. PSV were even lucky to not get the 3-0 on its account before stoppage time.

Second half

Ajax started with Devyne Rensch for Mazraoui, PSV started with the same eleven. They got the first corner kick in less than two minutes, and Schmidt had obviously instructed his men to play more aggressively and give higher pressure as in the first match of 2021.

It didn’t look like anything would come from this offensive approach, but Timber helped the Eindhoven side when he kicked Denzel Dumfries’ assist in his own goal: 2-1. Ajax then got typically lucky, when Gözübüyük pulled only yellow on both the filthy tackles of Nicolas Tagliafico and Rensch. Imagine having to defend a 2-1 lead with nine instead of eleven men…

Ajax managed to shake PSV’s defence again when Klaassen’s bicycle-kick almost hit home, but Pablo Rosario was able to pull a stunt of his own and keep the ball from crossing the line. David Neres replaced Antony and immediately got a chance, but failed to capitalize it.

With fewer minutes left, more fowls were made. Both sides had trouble sticking to playing football. Tadić put Unnerstall to work again in the 85th minute, Blind got the German goalie to stretch out far too, but that was about it.

Malen almost lost his temper when Tagliafico pulled one of his acting-tricks again. The result was yellow for the PSV striker and Edson Álvarez, who liked to show his temperament was alive and well too. The last serious chance to claim an extension was for Dumfries, but his effort was neutralized by Davy Klaassen.

The result: PSV are out of the KNVB Cup tournament and see Ajax walk away further. Again. Watch the full resume right here.

Next opponent: ADO Den Haag (away)

ADO is the football club from Den Haag or The Hague for English speakers. Den Haag is the Dutch administrative and royal seat of the Netherlands and the capital of the province of Zuid (South) Holland. The Dutch government sits there among other prominent landmarks is the International Court of Justice.

Having that said, the football club itself is known for a different type of politics. The fans can be pretty hardcore, they love a rougher type of player and they would absolutely love to see the management leave today. More about that in the history section.

ADO is an acronym for Alles Door Oefening, which is Dutch for Everything By/Through Exercise. They play their home matches in a yellow and green striped kit at the Cars Jeans Stadion, which has a capacity of 15.000 visitors.

The annual budget is €15,5 million, Ruud Brood is the head coach since 9 November 2020 and the club finds itself back on number 17 of the Eredivisie ranking, with only 12 points from 20 matches and a goal difference of -28.


ADO Den Haag was established on 1 February 1905 in a café at the Haagse Papestraat. The first years were very difficult for the club because many members didn’t pay their contribution. Sometimes they weren’t even able to play actual football.

The club was promoted to the NVB League, predecessor of the KNVB (Royal Dutch Football Association) in 1912 and became champions in 1914. After moving to the Zuiderpark Stadium, they became champions of the Dutch first class in 1926.

Under the guidance of captain Wim Tap, ADO became an illustrious team in the 1930s. In 1936 he became the trainer and built a team that became national champions for the first and only two times in club history ever, in 1942 and 1943.

During the war ADO, Den Haag got the name of being an NSB-club due to several incidents. After publications by Jewish journalist Frits Barend – in 1979 – and later sports journalist Hugo Borst – in 2005 – they were definitely cleared from blame.


In the 1950s several players moved abroad to make money with football, where this was still illegal in the Netherlands until 1954. When the Eredivisie was established, two years later, ADO became champions of their division in 1957 and only just failed to take the KNVB Cup after losing the final against VVV-Venlo in 1959.

In the 1960s Austrian head coach Ernst Happel managed to reach the KNVB Cup finals of 1963, 1963 and 1966 with the ‘Hagenezen’, but lost all three. In 1968 they finally drew the longest strongest and beat Ajax in the final with 2-1. As a reward, they got to play in the Europa Cup II tournament the season after, but that wasn’t very successful.

ADO’s best season ever took place in 1971, with Dick Advocaat as a squad member. They were undefeated in 17 matches in a row and had a goal difference of +35 and ended third on the ranking. That same year ADO fused with Holland Sport and the club continued as FC Den Haag.

Relegation and promotion

In 1981 things went downhill fast, with relegation in 1982 as a result. They promoted back to the Eredivisie in 1985, being undefeated the entire season. In 1987 they reached the KNVB Cup final against Ajax, but this time  Ajax was too strong.

FC Den Haag relegated again in 1988 but promoted back to the Eredivisie again in 1989. In 1992 they relegated again, and this time it took them 11 seasons to establish promotion again. Seven years later, in 2007, the club relegated again.


The fans of ADO are known to make a lot of noise in the last 15 minutes of the game, especially when the squad needs to come back from a disadvantage or to get more than a draw. In the 1980s they made a name as being overtly hardcore after several incidents with bombs and chants and sometimes resulting in riots.

ADO supporters have strong ties with Swansea City (Wales), Legia Warsaw (Poland), Club Brugge K.V. (Belgium) and Juventus FC (Italy). The unofficial club song is written by local comedian Harry Jekkers and serves as goal tune at the home stadium.

Big plans and failures

Early in the 2000s the management had announced big plans, including a new stadium, but hadn’t expected to enter it playing in the second Dutch league. After all kinds of investments, the club was heading for bankruptcy. Businessman Mark van der Kallen was able to help out, and the club even managed to promote back to the Eredivisie again through the playoffs.

With André Wetzel as new trainer and technical manager ADO had a sensational start to the 2008/2009 season. Soon after, things went downhill again, and a new trainer was appointed, but both Wetzel and he got into a fight with the board and left the club. Under Maurice Steijn, the residential club only just managed to stay in the Eredivisie for another year.

Selling the club

In 2010 John van den Brom became the new head coach, and he brought the club back into the Europa League tournament. In 2014 it was almost the same old story again, and the management announced the Chinese company United Vansen International Sports Co., Ltd. as a new major shareholder.

Since this announcement, the club has become one of the biggest jokes of the Eredivisie. Stories of overdue payments due to ‘cultural misconceptions’, members stepping in and out from the supervisory board and the local authorities pulling back their priority share have all preceded the dramatic sportive situation of the club at this moment.

Facts and Figures

For facts and figures, please read my article from October last year.

Current situation

The current situation is that Ruud Brood was appointed new head coach in November, but couldn’t change the state of the team much as of yet. With 17 goals scored and 45 conceded in 20 matches, it is clear the problems are all over the place.

Dante Rigo was let go and is now back at PSV Under 21, while Abdenasser El Khayati has returned to the club where he did so well between 2017 and 2019. The latter was part of the PSV Academy in 2007 and could be back from Qatar just in time to give ADO just what they need: technique, assists, goals and flair.

The 31-year-old Darryl Janmaat is also back, after a tour via SC Heerenveen, Feyenoord, The Dutch national team, Newcastle United and Watford. He could be of massive value with all that experience. Michiel Kramer is probably the only one with that specific behaviour the hardcore fans want to see in the squad, but four goals in 19 matches aren’t enough for a striker.

Amar Ćatić surely wants to prove himself against his old club, while Ricardo Kishna also still wants to show he can be of worth to the club of his home town. “Bobby” Adekanye played at the Liverpool Academy and already made 11 appearances for Lazio, but has now his first chance to show himself to the people from his home country.

Marko Vejinovic used to do very well in the Eredivisie when he played for Heracles and Vitesse and should be able to squash some football out at 31 years of age. Shaquille Pinas has great potential as a defender, while Luuk Koopmans has proven to be a reliable goalkeeper ever since he left PSV in 2020.

With all these new and experienced quality players in the selection, and the experience that Ruud Brood has gained during his years under Phillip Cocu, one should expect some better football and more goals soon. Hopefully, for PSV, they will meet an ADO who are just not ready yet to play like a team that fights against relegation with all that they’ve got.

Situation PSV

Roger Schmidt will most likely have availability over the same squad as in Amsterdam. This would mean Cody Gakpo, Mario Götze, Noni Madueke, Armando Obispo and Nick Viergever will not step on the bus to Den Haag.

For the latest updates, watch the pre-match press conference at – or after – 11:00 through PSV’s YouTube channel.

Match information

Match:                                               ADO Den Haag – PSV

Date:                                                 Saturday 13 February 2020

Time:                                                 16:30 (4:30 PM)

Location:                                            Cars Jeans Stadion, Den Haag

Referee:                                             Pol van Boekel

VAR:                                                  Luca Cantineau

Broadcast:                                          ESPN


Article by Joey van der Hart for Eindhoven News

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