Van Persie ponders future with Feyenoord after scoring in KNVB Cup win


Feyenoord fans celebrating in Rotterdam after the 3-0 Dutch Cup final win against AZ Alkmaar.

Feyenoord salvaged a disappointing league season by winning the 100th edition of the KNVB Cup in convincing style with a 3-0 win over AZ Alkmaar on Sunday. Robin van Persie's goal 10 minutes after half-time was the high point of a pulsating game in De Kuip stadium. The 34-year-old striker floated the ball over the head of goalkeeper Marco Bizot to make the score 2-0 and put the game beyond AZ's reach. Nicolai Jørgensen had opened the scoring in the 28th minute and Jens Toornstra added the gloss in injury time to seal coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst's fourth trophy in three seasons. Van Bronckhorst acknowledged that the victory went some way to compensate for a lacklustre defence of the league title. Last year's champions are destined to finish fourth in the Eredivisie, one place behind AZ, and are currently 21 points adrift of champions-elect PSV. 'It was a difficult season, especially when you look at the league and the Champions League,' said Van Bronckhorst. 'But in the end we've won two out of three trophies and ended the season on a positive note.' Feyenoord also won the Johan Cruijff Shield, the traditional season opener, by beating last year's cup winners Vitesse Arnhem on penalties. Van Persie said he would sit down with the club in the next few weeks to discuss whether he will continue playing next season. The Netherlands' record international goalscorer, who arrived at De Kuip in January, has a contract until mid-2019 but is unsure if he can manage another full season. 'In my heart I'd love to keep playing football for another five years, but I need to be realistic,' he said. 'Maybe the outside world doesn't see it. but it can be a real struggle to get fit for games. 'It's partly to do with age, but over the years I've had quite a few knocks. It takes me longer to recover.' Around 30 people were arrested after the match as celebrations broke out in Rotterdam, but police said the atmosphere was mostly convivial. The arrests were for public drunkenness, abusive language and setting off fireworks. Two AZ supporters were also arrested after beer cans were thrown out of a coach on the A16 motorway. The winning club's official reception will be held on Monday afternoon at De Kuip stadium rather than the usual location of the Coolsingel, which is partly closed for roadworks.  More >



Dutch women beat Ireland in World Cup game

The Dutch women's football team beat Ireland 0-2 away on Tuesday night, consolidating their lead at the top of Group 3 in the 2019 World Cup qualifiers. The reigning European champions now have 13 points from five games and a goal tally of 15-0, putting them three points clear of the Republic and four ahead of Norway in Group 3. The Dutch women have never qualified for the World Cup. The winner of each group qualifies directly for next year's finals, which take place in France.   More >


Dutch women play world cup qualifier

The European champion Dutch women’s football team is playing in a packed world cup qualifier against Northern Ireland in Eindhoven on Friday night. Ranked at number 7 against Northern Ireland’s 56, the Dutch are favourites to win. But their new winners’ status means the pressure is on, players told NOS broadcaster. Forward Shanice van de Sanden said: ‘People expect a lot of us but that is also really great. We know what we can do and we won’t let the world around us make us go crazy. We'll focus on ourselves and get on with the game.’ They will have plenty of viewers: 30,000 spectators are expected in the Eindhoven stands, which would make it the most popular women’s game in history, according to NOS.  More >



Two England fans jailed for Amsterdam riot

Statue of justice. Two English football fans have been jailed for three months, two suspended, by Amsterdam magistrates for their role in last month's rioting ahead of the England Holland friendly. In total, 140 England fans were arrested in the run-up to the match after drunken gangs clashed with police in the city’s red light district. Video footage shows the England fans throwing beer at passing boats and chucking a bike into the canal. All but four were released from custody and sent home with a fine. The public prosecution department had called for a four month term against all three men, but the magistrate reduced the sentence because two of them had expressed remorse. A third man was fined €500 for resisting arrest. The fourth man has not yet appeared in court. The rioting led the city's police chief to criticise local shops for stocking up on beer ahead of the game. The police were so tied up in keeping the drunken British supporters under control over a three-day period that two city police stations had to close their doors because there was no manpower available to staff them, Aalbersberg told local broadcaster AT5.  More >




Seven new names in Oranje squad

Dutch coach Ronald Koeman has called up seven newcomers to his preliminary squad for friendlies against England and Portugal later this month. The 33-strong line-up includes debutant Justin Kluivert, son of Patrick, who plays for Ajax, plus first-time caps Hans Hateboer (Atalanta), Marco Bizot, Wout Weghorst, Guus Til (all AZ), Steven Bergwijn (PSV), and Ruud Vormer (Club Brugge). Regulars Marco van Ginkel, Joël Veltman, Vincent Janssen (injured), Jürgen Locadia, Davy Klaassen, Terence Kongolo and Jeremain Lens are out. Wesley Sneijder announced at the weekend that he is dropping out of international competition. Koeman will announce his final selection for the games on March 23 in Amsterdam and March 26 in Geneva a week on Friday. The full squad: Keeper: Marco Bizot (AZ), Jasper Cillessen (FC Barcelona), Sergio Padt (FC Groningen), Jeroen Zoet (PSV) Defence: Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace), Nathan Aké (AFC Bournemouth), Daley Blind (Manchester United), Jeffrey Bruma (VfL Wolfsburg), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Crystal Palace), Hans Hateboer (Atalanta Bergamo), Daryl Janmaat (Watford), Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax), Karim Rekik (Hertha BSC), Kenny Tete (Olympique Lyon), Stefan de Vrij (Lazio) Midfield: Donny van de Beek (Ajax), Davy Pröpper (Brighton & Hove Albion), Marten de Roon (Atalanta Bergamo), Kevin Strootman (AS Roma), Guus Til (AZ), Tonny Vilhena (Feyenoord), Ruud Vormer (Club Brugge), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) Attack: Ryan Babel (Besiktas), Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Steven Bergwijn (PSV), Memphis Depay (Olympique Lyon), Bas Dost (Sporting Portugal), Luuk de Jong (PSV), Justin Kluivert (Ajax), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moskou), Wout Weghorst (AZ)   More >