Feyenoord clinch second spot; Excelsior relegation confirmed
Last Updated: May 6, 2012 9:17pm
Otman Bakkal: Scored to help Feyenoord clinch second place in the Eredivisie
Feyenoord claimed second prize on the final day of the Eredivisie season as they booked a place in the UEFA Champions League, while Ajax celebrated winning the title with a 14th straight victory and Excelsior went down.
Ajax sealed their 31st Dutch league crown by winning in midweek so the main focus on Sunday was the race for second place, as well as deciding which team would automatically be relegated.
Finishing as runners-up in Holland clinches entry to the Champions League qualifiers and Feyenoord held their nerve to beat Heerenveen 3-2 away from home and keep their noses in front of third-placed PSV Eindhoven.
An entertaining clash at Abe Lenstra Stadion saw the home side take the lead through Bas Dost, but the Rotterdam club responded with goals from Otman Bakkal, Sekou Cisse and Elvis Manu.
Click below for individual match stats:
ADO Den Haag 3 De Graafschap 5
AZ Alkmaar 1 Groningen 0
Excelsior 1 PSV 3
Heerenveen 2 Feyenoord 3
Heracles 1 NEC 2
NAC Breda 3 RKC Waalwijk 2
Roda JC 1 Utrecht 3
VVV Venlo 4 FC Twente 2
Vitesse 1 Ajax 3
Rajiv van la Parra netted late on for Heerenveen, but the visitors survived a nervy final few minutes to claim a top-two finish.
Excelsior's relegation from the Eredivisie was confirmed with a 3-1 home defeat by PSV Eindhoven.
Excelsior's fleeting hopes were quickly dashed as goals from Dries Mertens (10) and Jeremain Lens (37) left them in a hole they were unable to extricate themselves from.
Luigi Bruins did reply on 50 minutes from the penalty spot but after Zakaria Labyad (66) added a third, and closest rivals De Graafschap beat ADO Den Haag 5-3, Excelsior's fate was sealed.
De Graafschap needed to win to make sure they would finish above Excelsior and enter the relegation play-offs rather than go straight down.
Michael de Leeuw scored twice for the visitors, with an own goal from Aleksandar Radosavljevic plus strikes from Gil Vermouth and Soufian El Hassnaoui sealing the points which earns them another shot at survival.
Lex Immers (two) and Charlton Vicento replied for ADO, who threw away the lead three times during the match.
Ajax finished a remarkable title-winning season with a 3-1 win at Vitesse Arnhem, who had already wrapped up a Europa League play-off place.
The capital club needed late goals from retiring defender Andre Ooijer and Jan Vertonghen to secure the win.
Nicky Hofs had threatened to end Ajax's impressive run when he opened the scoring on 28 minutes, but a 41st-minute Dmitri Bulykin leveller paved the way for their late rally.
Europe-bound AZ Alkmaar ended the season with a routine 1-0 win over mid-table FC Groningen.
Gertjan Verbeek's men were already assured of their spot in next season's Europa League, but booked themselves a fourth-placed finish nonetheless thanks to Erik Falkenburg's 26th-minute goal.
Late goals from Steven Berghuis and Michael Uchebo ensured VVV-Venlo will go into the Eredivisie relegation play-offs on a high following a 4-2 victory over FC Twente.
Both sides began the day knowing they could not improve on their positions, with Twente consigned to the Europa League play-offs, but an entertaining match ensued in any case.
The contest sprang to life after the first half when both teams traded goals from Leroy Fer (31) and Yanic Wildschut (45).
Nacer Chadli fired Twente ahead again on 48 minutes but VVV came roaring back as Danny Holla (61) equalised before the late goals from Berghuis (84) and Uchebo (90).
Roda JC missed out on the Europa League play-offs with a 3-1 defeat at home to FC Utrecht.
Alexander Gerndt put the visitors in front on the stroke of half-time following poor goalkeeping from Mateusz Prus.
Yoshiaki Takagi doubled the away side's lead four minutes after the break and, even though Sanharib Malki pulled one back, Frank Demouge sealed a win for Utrecht late on.
NEC Nijmegen claimed a 2-1 victory over Heracles Almelo to clinch a place in the play-offs at Roda's expense.
Goals in either half by Lasse Schone and Genero Zeefuik secured three points which leave NEC inside the top nine and now set for a tilt at the play-offs.
The hosts replied late on through Everton and they finish the campaign in 11th.
RKC Waalwijk sealed their spot in the Europa League play-offs after an entertaining 3-3 draw on the road at NAC Breda.
RKC took the lead through Rick ten Voorde but NAC hit back, establishing a 3-1 lead just after the hour mark thanks to goals by Alex Schalk, Omer Bayram and Robbert Schilder.
But RKC hit back for a point, levelling through Aaron Meijers and Sander Duits to secure eighth place and a shot at qualifying for European competition next term.