Feyenoord secure a Champions League prelim’s ticket

The Hague, May 7: Feyenoord finished second in the Dutch football Eredivisie and qualified for the preliminary round of the Champions League next season.

In the 34th and the final round of matches, Feyenoord defeated SC Heerenveen 3-2 in the province of Friesland Sunday.

Dutch top scorer Bas Dost, who scored his 32nd goal of the season, gave the home-team the lead in the 56th minute, but Feyenoord bounced back strongly through goals from Otman Bakkal, Sekou Cisse and Elvis Manu while Rajiv Van La Parra scored the last.

“I am extremely proud of Feyenoord, although we had problems today everyone has contributed to this effort,” Feyenoord coach Ronald Koeman was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

PSV Eindhoven who were Feyenoord’s main contenders for the second place managed a third place even though they beat Excelsior 3-1 in Rotterdam thanks to goals from Dries Mertens, Jeremain Lens and Georginio Wijnaldum.

Luigi Bruins produced Excelsior’s consolation goal from the penalty spot, but it could not prevent the Rotterdam side relegating to the second division.

AZ Alkmaar finished fourth behind PSV by defeating FC Groningen 1-0 with the lone goal coming from Erik Falkenburg. Heerenveen finished fifth and FC Twente had to settle for a disappointing sixth position after losing 2-4 to VVV-Venlo.

Champions Ajax, ended the season with a 3-1 win at Vitesse Arnhem and topped the table.

Ajax booked a direct ticket for the Champions League and Feyenoord will play Champions League preliminary round next season.

PSV, AZ and sc Heerenveen qualified for the Europa League preliminary round, while FC Twente, Vitesse, NEC and RKC Waalwijk will battle for the remaining places.

IANS