Feyenoord blows chance to win first league title in 18 years
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Feyenoord squandered a chance to win its first Dutch league title in 18 years Sunday when it slumped to a 3-0 defeat at fellow Rotterdam club Excelsior, sparking clashes between disappointed fans and riot police in the city center.
With second-placed Ajax beating Go Ahead Eagles 4-0, Feyenoord’s lead at the top of the Eredivisie shrank to just a single point with one match to play.
Some 50,000 fans who had gathered in Feyenoord’s De Kuip stadium to watch the match and the possible coronation of their team as champion on giant screens instead left disappointed.
Thousands more were gathered in downtown Rotterdam and some turned on police after the match, throwing beer bottles, fireworks and chairs before riot police forced them out of the area, local media reported.
Feyenoord started nervously but appeared to be running into form early in the second half only to see Nigel Hasselbaink and Stanley Elbers make it 2-0 for Excelsior in the space of three minutes just before the hour mark. Ryan Koolwijk completed the scoring in the 65th.
In next week’s final round, Feyenoord plays at home against Heracles Almelo and Ajax travels to Tilburg to take on Willem II.