Twente and Ajax set for winner-takes-all clash for title
Last Updated: May 1, 2011 7:21pm
Twente and Ajax both won on Sunday to set up a winner-takes-all clash between the pair for the Eredivisie title.
The destiny of the title will now be decided on 15th May when the top two go head to head at the Amsterdam ArenA in the last game of the season.
Defending champions Twente maintained their one-point lead at the top with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over rock bottom Willem II, who were relegated with the defeat.
Luuk de Jong set the hosts on their way in the 39th minute before Douglas added a second five minutes after the restart.
Click below for individual match stats:
ADO Den Haag 2 FC Groningen 4
AZ Alkmaar 5 de Graafschap 1
Excelsior 3 FC Utrecht 1
FC Twente 4 Willem II 0
Heerenveen 1 Ajax 2
NAC Breda 1 Heracles Almelo 2
NEC Nijmegen 4 Roda JC Kerk 0
PSV Eindhoven 2 Vitesse Arnhem 1
VVV Venlo 3 Feyenoord 2
The unfortunate Dragan Jelic turned the ball into his own net on 63 minutes and Theo Janssen scored with 13 minutes remaining to complete the rout.
Defeat, along with victory for VVV Venlo, confirmed Willem II's relegation.
Second-placed Ajax came from behind against Heerenveen to ensure the title race will go down to the wire.
Mika Vayrynen gave the hosts an 18th minute lead but Ajax were level just a minute later via Miralem Sulejmani and Christian Eriksen then won it for the visitors with the crucial second a minute after the interval.
Third-placed PSV Eindhoven beat Vitesse Arnhem to keep alive their hopes of a place in next season's UEFA Champions League qualifying round, although the victories of Twente and Ajax ended their title hopes.
Goals from Marcus Berg and Marcelo beat Vitesse, who netted a consolation via Jordi Lopez.
The win means PSV can still overhaul Ajax for second should they beat FC Groningen in two weeks' time and the Amsterdam giants fail to win against Twente.
AZ Alkmaar thrashed De Graafschap 5-1 to maintain their grip on fourth spot.
Braces from Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and substitute Graziano Pelle, and an effort from Brett Holman gave AZ their easy victory, with Peter Jungschlager netting a late consolation for the visitors.
FC Groningen boosted their hopes of automatic qualification for the Europa League with an impressive 4-2 away win over ADO Den Haag.
Dmitri Bulykin's two first-half goals - the second from the penalty spot - twice got the hosts back on level terms after first Petter Andersson and Fredrik Stenman had put the visitors ahead.
However, Andersson struck again early in the second half before Tom Hiariej sealed the victory four minutes from time to keep Groningen three points behind fourth-placed AZ.
Roda JC Kerkrade dropped to sixth after falling to a 5-0 defeat at NEC Nijmegen.
Bjorn Vleminckx was the hero for the hosts, scoring four times, and Rmy Amieux was also on target, while the visitors' day was made even worse with Ruud Vormer's dismissal for a second bookable offence near the end.
Heracles Almelo came from behind to win 2-1 at NAC Breda to rise to eighth in the table.
Matthew Amoah put NAC ahead in the 17th minute but the hosts were then reduced to 10 men shortly afterwards when Csaba Feher received his marching orders for serious foul play.
The visitors made their numerical advantage pay with second-half goals from Mark-Jan Fledderus and Glynor Plet, before they themselves had a man sent off with Everton Ramos da Silva's dismissal for a second bookable offence.
Excelsior ensured they will be in with a chance of clambering out of the relegation play-off zone on the final day of the season after an impressive 3-1 victory at home to FC Utrecht.
A goal in each half by Geert Arend Roorda sandwiched Roland Bergkamp's 32nd-minute strike as the hosts cantered to three crucial points in their battle to avoid the drop.
Frank Demouge's late consolation was all Utrecht had to show from a disappointing outing that leaves the club outside the Europa League play-off berths heading into the final day.
Excelsior now trail De Graafschap - the final team occupying a position of safety - by just three points with one match remaining, but Sunday's win combined with De Graafschap's mauling by AZ, means Alex Pastoor's troops boast marginally better goal difference ahead of the final round of fixtures.
VVV Venlo escaped automatic relegation with a crucial 3-2 home win over Feyenoord.
Ahmed Musa was the hero with a hat-trick for the hosts, while Georginio Wijnaldum and Luc Castaignos were on target for the visitors.