Eredivisie: PSV snatch title after Ajax dramatically falter
Last Updated: 08/05/16 5:53pm
PSV Eindhoven retained the Eredivisie title after a dramatic final day that saw Ajax slip up when it mattered most.
Ajax went into Sunday's matches top of the table with a superior goal difference and would have been sure of a 34th Dutch championship with victory at relegation battlers De Graafschap.
The Amsterdam giants took the lead in the 16th minute through Amin Younes but a fine equaliser from Bryan Smeets earned the 17th-placed side a surprise 1-1 draw and swung the balance of the title race once again.
PSV duly took advantage, and were crowned national champions for the 23rd time after a 3-1 win at PEC Zwolle.
Jurgen Locadia (34) set them on their way and a brace from captain Luuk de Jong (43 and 67) either side of a Ouasim Bouy strike (66) securing what was in the end a comfortable victory.
"That's football. You have to keep believing in your chances," PSV boss Phillip Cocu told NOS radio. "De Graafschap played a big role in our title today, we're grateful for that."
At the other end of the table, Excelsior won 2-0 away at bottom club Cambuur with goals from Tom van Weert in the fourth minute and Kevin Vermeulen (59) to make sure they avoided dropping into the relegation play-offs.
Willem II, though, will still face a battle to retain their top-flight status despite winning 3-2 at Roda, as they finished in 16th place.
AZ Alkmaar finished in fourth after they won 3-1 at Utrecht and so will go direct into the Europa League qualifying rounds next season along with third-placed Feyenoord, who beat NEC Nijmegen 1-0 courtesy of a second-half goal from captain Dirk Kuyt at De Kuip.
Groningen secured eighth spot and a shot at the Europa League qualifying play-offs with a 2-1 home win over Heracles Almelo, as defender Rasmus Lindgren (53 & 64) scored twice in the second half.
Twente drew 2-2 with Vitesse while it finished 1-1 at the Kyocera Stadion between hosts Den Haag and Heerenveen.