Ajax crowned Dutch champions

BY foxsports • May 16, 2011

Defending champions Twente went into the final day a point ahead of the second-placed Amsterdammers but could not secure the draw they required to retain the trophy. Siem de Jong opened the scoring for Ajax after 23 minutes and a Denny Landzaat own goal doubled the hosts' advantage two minutes into the second half. Theo Janssen halved the deficit almost immediately but De Jong capped a fine individual performance with Ajax's third 12 minutes from time. Twente at least have the consolation of Champions League qualification. A win for PSV Eindhoven at FC Groningen would have condemned Michel Preud'homme's men to the Europa League but PSV could only manage a goalless draw - a result which meant they finish third. PSV finished the match with 10 men after Atiba Hutchinson was sent off with 11 minutes to go. AZ Alkmaar will also play in the Europa League despite a 5-1 thrashing at FC Utrecht - Dries Mertens grabbing a hat-trick and Holland international Ricky van Wolfswinkel a brace. Heracles Almelo clinched eighth place and a spot in the Europa League play-offs with a 3-0 defeat of ADO Den Haag. Willy Overtoom scored twice for Heracles before Samuel Armenteros added a late third. Heracles will be joined in the play-offs for the second-tier European competition by Groningen, Roda JC and ADO. Roda drew 0-0 with Heerenveen. Excelsior will have to contest the promotion/relegation play-offs despite a 4-1 win at Vitesse Arnhem. Excelsior started the day third from bottom and had to win by a four-goal margin against the side directly above them. And they almost pulled it off. Guyon Fernandez gave them a lead just after the half-hour mark with Marti Riverola levelling for Vitesse after 63 minutes. Needing goals, Excelsior poured forward and restored their lead through a Arend Roorda penalty before another Roorda strike made it 3-1. Tim Vincken added a fourth but a decisive fifth was not forthcoming. Already-relegated Willem II lost 1-0 at home to NAC Breda thanks to a late Julian Jenner goal. Feyenoord ended a topsy-turvy campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to NEC Nijmegen - Luc Castaignos netting an equaliser for the Rotterdammers after Lasse Schone had put NEC ahead. An early Rydell Poepon goal for De Graafschap sank VVV-Venlo 1-0 and meant they avoided the relegation play-offs.

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