By Samindra Kunti
May 15 – After 18 years Dutch giants Feyenoord have won the Eredivisie again. A stunning hat-trick from Dirk Kuyt ensured a comfortable 3-1 against Heracles to hold off Ajax Amsterdam.
Last week Feyenoord blew a big chance to seal the title after losing against local rivals and minnows Excelsior 3-0. Ajax narrowed the gap with the league leaders to just one point with 4-0 win against Go Ahead Eagles.
The results set up a tense and nervy final round of matches with Feyenoord needing to win. They hosted Heracles at a packed De Kuip stadium, with thousands of fans watching the match in Rotterdam’s city centre.
Kuyt, the former Liverpool striker, settled any nerves early on when he pounced on a defensive mistake to score the opener after 38 seconds. He headed in his second in the 12th minute and scored a penalty late on before Peter van Ooijen’s consolation.
“I had many great moments in my playing career, but this is the best day of my career,” said Feyenoord coach Giovanni Van Bronckhorst. “We have always reacted well to setbacks. This title is for everybody. I never doubted that we would win the title.”
The Dutchman played for Glasgow Rangers, Arsenal, Barcelona and Feyenoord during his career and became Feyenoord’s head coach in 2015.
It is the first time that Feyenoord have won the league since 1999. They topped the Eredivise for the entire season, the first team to achieve that since Ajax in 1997-98.
Ajax defeated Willem II 3-1, but it wasn’t enough to halt Feyenoord. The Amsterdam-based club will end their season with the Europa League final against Manchester United on May 24.
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