Review of all the action from round two of the Eerste Divisie playoffs which saw NEC Nijmegen relegated from the Eredivisie.

  • By Lee Tierney
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anec releFour more sides learnt their fate over the weekend as the second round of play offs were completed. Joining Fortuna Sittard & FC Eindhoven in next season’s Eerste Divisie are De Graafschap, VVV Venlo, Den Bosch & NEC. After losing their home leg against Eredivisie side RKC Waalwijk 1-0, De Graafschap took a second leg lead through Koolhof but were quickly pegged backed a lost out 2-1 on aggregate allowing Waalwijk to progress to a third & final round play off tie. Poor defending in the first leg cost VVV Venlo dearly as they were beaten 3-1 at home to Dordrecht giving them a mountain to climb which they failed to do as Dordrecht won the home leg 2-1, top scorer Paul Gladon was on target in both games for the victorious Dordrecht.

Excelsior qualified for the final round in a similar vein to Dordrecht with a 3-1 away first leg success followed up by a 2-1 home win as Den Bosch’s hopes of Eredivisie football next season were laid to rest, Eerste Divisie top scorer Lars Veldwijk took his tally to 32 for the season with a double in the 2-1 home win. The main drama in the second round was just a few miles away from Excelsior’s Woudestein home in the games between Sparta Rotterdam & NEC Nijmegen, Sparta who ended the season in 15th place & in woeful form beat NEC 1-0 in the home leg, a game spread over two days due to heavy rain which led the referee to call the game off at half time. Many expected Sparta to travel to Nijmegen & return empty handed but the capitulation of NEC which saw Sparta 3-0 up at the break & 3-1 winners at full time was too much for some of the home fans to take as they spilled onto the pitch to vent their anger as for the first time in twenty years NEC will play second tier football.

The first legs of the two finals take place later this week & the winners of both games will be promoted to the Eredivisie, Sparta Rotterdam host Dordrecht & Excelsior welcome RKC Waalwijk with both games on Thursday & the return legs on Sunday.

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