• Monday, 10 May 2010

    Roda and Utrecht face off for Europe: Dutch play-off news

    The final of the Europa League play-offs will be between Utrecht and Roda JC after the semi-finals were decided on Sunday.

    Roda went into their game against Heracles level at 1-1 and Heracles took the initiative with Darl Douglas handing them the lead on the hour. An own goal squared it up ten minutes from time, Antoine van der Linden the unfortunate player, and it looked to be heading for extra time until Boldizsar Bodor grabbed a late, late winner for Roda. Utrecht were already comfortable after winning the first leg 3-1 against Groningen and Ricky van Wolfswinkel made it 4-1 on aggregate in the first half. Nana Asare sealed it with the night's second nine minutes from time.

    Sparta and Willem II are both still alive in the promotion/relegation play-offs. Sparta overturned a 2-1 deficit against Helmond Sport, but they left it late. Rydell Poepon pulled one back with nineteen minutes to go and Charles Dissels won it in stoppage time. Nick Viergever was sent off in the melee following the celebrations though, which may hurt Sparta further down the line. Eindhoven also ended with ten men, Ruud Swinkels sent off late on as they drew 1-1 draw on the night against Willem II who progress 3-2 on aggregate. Gerson Sheotahul put Willem II ahead in the first half and at 3-1 they were almost there. Ruud van der Rijt pulled one back, but after Swinkels was sent off, the game was up for Eindhoven.

    Go Ahead Eagles were beaten on the night, Mark de Vries with the only goal for Cambuur Leeuwarden, but progress thanks to the 2-0 lead built up in the first leg while Excelsior won a thriller to progress at the expense of Zwolle. Leading by a goal to nil from the first leg, Excelsior looked to have taken control of the tie with Guyon Fernandez's early penalty. Zdenko Kapralik and Arne Slot squared it up on aggregate five minutes before the break, but Leen van Steensel put Excelsior back in front just as the whistle was about to go. With twenty minutes left, Norichio Neiveld restored the two-goal advantage, but still Zwolle weren't done as Slot bagged his second. The Zwolle challenge was finally undone a couple of minutes after Slot's second when Diederik Boer was sent off and Fernandez got his second to wrap up a thrilling 4-3 win, 5-3 overall.

    Go Ahead Eagles face down Cambuur and Sparta take on Willem II over two legs for the final two Eredivisie places for next season.

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