Excelsior sent to play-offs, Twente seal third spot on last day

Arne Slot waves to the fans as he signs off at Feyenoord with a 4-0 win against Excelsior. Photo: ANP/Bart Stoutjesdijk

Excelsior will have to fight for their place in the Eredivisie after a 4-0 defeat to local rivals Feyenoord meant they finished in the dreaded 16th spot.

The Rotterdam club needed a better result than RKC Waalwijk to guarantee a place in the top flight next season, but after a goalless first half they collapsed as Gernot Trauner, Ondrej Lingr and Dávid Hancko gave Arne Slot a memorable send-off. Lutsharel Geertruida added a late fourth from the penalty spot.

RKC took a surprise lead against Brabant neighbours and champions-elect PSV through Richonell Margaret. But a double strike by Luuk de Jong, including a penalty, and an own goal by Julian Lelieveld claimed the points for PSV.

Heracles Almelo were in danger of being dragged back into the relegation play-off equation if their two rivals won, but made sure of their place with a goalless draw against Fortuna Sittard.

Twente Enschede had a nail-biting end to the season as they sought the win at PEC Zwolle that would ensure them a third-place finish and a coveted place in the Champions League play-offs.

AZ slip

The match was goalless at half-time, while nearest rivals AZ were 3-0 up at home to Utrecht thanks to a glorious lob by Ruben van Bommel and Vangelis Pavlidis’s 29th goal of the season.

But AZ had to settle for a point as Utrecht came back in a dramatic second half, with Victor Jensen tapping in the equaliser nine minutes from time.

At the same time Ricky van Wolfswinkel scored from the penalty spot to give Twente the win they needed, leaving AZ to settle for the Europa League. Pavlidis’s goal meant he shared the top scorer’s trophy with Luuk de Jong.

Utrecht will go into the play-offs for the Conference League spot with a home match against Sparta, who finished with a 2-1 win at home to Heerenveen.

The other match will be between NEC Nijmegen, who beat Almere City to match their highest ever points total for a league season, and Go Ahead Eagles, who won 2-1 at relegated Volendam.

Vitesse denied

Bottom side Vitesse looked to be on course to end their season on a high note with a 2-1 win against Ajax in the battle of the crisis clubs, but Steven Berghuis found the net in the third minute of injury time to snatch a point for the Amsterdammers.

Excelsior will meet ADO Den Haag in the semi-finals of the play-offs, with the first leg in The Hague on Wednesday, after ADO edged past De Graafschap 5-4 in the first round.

NAC Breda thumped Roda JC 8-1 on aggregate to set up a meeting with Emmen in the other semi-final. Emmen won 1-0 at Dordrecht, with Vincente Besuijen scoring the winning goal in the 88th minute after the teams drew 2-2 in Drenthe.



Almere City 1-4 NEC Nijmegen

AZ Alkmaar 3-3 Utrecht

Feyenoord 4-0 Excelsior

Heracles Almelo 0-0 Fortuna Sittard

PEC Zwolle 1-2 Twente Enschede

PSV Eindhoven 3-1 RKC Waalwijk

Sparta 2-1 Heerenveen

Vitesse Arnhem 2-2 Ajax

Volendam 1-2 Go Ahead Eagles

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