Emmen consigned to play-off spot as Excelsior beat Fortuna 3-0

Kik Pierie celebrates scoring Excelsior's opening goal against Fortuna. Photo: ANP/Gerrit van Keulen

Emmen will have to fight for their place in the Eredivisie next season after their closest rivals secured the points they needed to avoid the relegation play-off slot.

Dick Lukkien’s side gave themselves hope when Richairo Zivkovic fired them into an early lead after being put through on goal by Keziah Veendorp.

But the champions-elect were not to be denied their 13th straight league win as Oussama Idrissi found the top corner with a searing shot after 30 minutes.

Two goals by Danilo in the last 10 minutes secured victory for Feyenoord and the dreaded 16th place for Emmen, who will now have to defend their top-flight status in the post-season play-offs.

There were ecstatic scenes at Excelsior after the Rotterdam club on the pitch beat Fortuna Sittard 3-0 to safeguard Eredivisie football next season. All three goals came in the final half-hour. Kik Pierie, who scored the opener, said: “This is what it’s about. It feels like winning the title.”

PSV missed the chance to tie up second place after sharing six goals in an action-packed contest with Heerenveen. The Frisian side were 3-1 up with 11 minutes to play, but a header by Luuk de Jong and a Xavi Simons penalty earned PSV a point.

Ajax could still snatch the second Champions League spot on the final day after beating Utrecht 3-1, provided they win at FC Twente while PSV just need a point away to AZ Alkmaar.

AZ in Europe

AZ, for their part, could overtake Ajax for third place if they can overturn PSV and the Amsterdammers lose in Enschede. AZ made sure of fourth and a guaranteed European spot as Jesper Karlsson scored twice in a 3-0 win at NEC.

Volendam lost by the same scoreline at Go Ahead Eagles, in a match that goalkeeper Filip Stankovic will want to forget, despite saving a penalty in the first half.

The Serb allowed Isac Lidberg to take the ball off his toes to score the first goal on the stroke of half-time, then fumbled a long-range shot in the 65th minute, giving Darío Serra the chance to tap in Go Ahead’s third.


The Deventer side are one of three clubs vying for the final Conference League play-off position, but they will have to beat Heerenveen, who currently hold eighth place, next weekend and hope RKC Waalwijk come unstuck against bottom side Cambuur.

RKC’s goal difference took a hammering as they lost 5-0 at home to FC Twente. But they avoided being the biggest losers of the day as Groningen went down 6-0 at Vitesse, in a game that made the decision to ban Groningen’s fans following recent crowd trouble at the Euroborg stadium look like an act of mercy.

Sparta secured sixth place despite going behind early to Cambuur through a Marco Tol header. Koki Saito equalised after 30 minutes before Sparta turned the game around with two goals in four minutes before half-time and a fourth from Younes Namli five minutes into the second half.



Ajax 3-1 Utrecht

Emmen 1-3 Feyenoord

Excelsior 3-0 Fortuna Sittard

Go Ahead Eagles 3-0 Volendam

NEC Nijmegen 0-3 AZ Alkmaar

PSV Eindhoven 3-3 Heerenveen

RKC Waalwijk 0-5 Twente Enschede

Sparta Rotterdam 4-1 Cambuur Leeuwarden

Vitesse Arnhem 6-0 Groningen

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