Dutch football league: ADO Den Haag qualify for Europa League play-offs

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The Hague, May 7 (IANS) ADO Den Haag secured a place in the 2018-19 Europa League play-offs, while AZ Alkmaar forward Alireza Jahanbakhsh finished as the league’s top scorer during a 6-0 easy win over PEC Zwolle in the 34th and final round of the Dutch Eredivisie football championship.

ADO Den Haag are seventh in the table with 47 points as they defeated Roda JC Kerkrade 3-2 on Sunday, thanks to goals by Norwegian striker Bjorn Johnsen and Lex Immers, with Dani Schahin and Simon Gustafson scoring for Roda, reports Xinhua news agency.

At the same time PEC Zwolle, who only picked up 11 points in the second half of the season compared to 33 in the first half, suffered a thrashing against third-placed AZ.

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Jahanbakhsh scored three times for AZ. With his goals, he decided the race for the Eredivisie top scorer’s title. The Iranian international ends the season with 21 goals, followed by Bjorn Johnsen (19), Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord, 18) and Wout Weghorst (18).

League champions PSV Eindhoven finished the season with a 0-0 home draw against FC Groningen, while runners-up AFC Ajax beat Excelsior 2-1 in Rotterdam.

Both PSV and Ajax qualified for the Champions League preliminary round, while AZ go to the Europa League preliminary round and Feyenoord Rotterdam go to the Europa League directly by virtue of winning the Dutch Cup.

Bottom of the table strugglers Roda and Sparta Rotterdam, will continue in the relegation play-offs, while bottom-side FC Twente, who drew 1-1 at home against NAC Breda is already certain of relegation after 34 years at the highest level in Dutch football.

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–IANS

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