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Feyenoord into playoffs in fifth

Feyenoord will end the 2020-21 Eredivisie season in fifth place. A 1-1 draw at Heracles Almelo in the penultimate round of matches means that fourth place Vitesse cannot now be caught. With sixth-placed FC Utrecht also unable to catch Dick Advocaat’s side, Feyenoord already know that they will have a home match in the playoffs on 19 May.

Feyenoord still had a chance of avoiding the playoffs by securing a win at Heracles Almelo on Thursday afternoon. That looked doable at half time at the Erve Asito stadium, as the visitors created a raft of opportunities, not least for Nicolai Jørgensen – starting instead of the injured Bryan Linssen – and Steven Berghuis.

The two forwards failed to convert, however, and with Justin Bijlow putting in a strong performance at the other end, the sides went in at the break with the match still goalless.

That changed early in the second half, with home keeper Janis Blaswich playing a big role. He looked odds on to pluck Orkun Kökcü’s swirling ball out of the air, but got his bearings all wrong, handing Feyenoord the lead.

It didn’t stay that way for long. The hosts regrouped quickly and equalised within three minutes. A home forward appeared to go to ground fairly easily, but referee Jeroen Manschot blew for a foul by Eric Botteghin. To Dick Advocaat’s amazement, VAR declined to intervene and substitute Sinan Bakis stepped up to convert.

The match would finish without further incident, leaving Feyenoord adrift in fifth place, with Heracles Almelo back in eighth place. As things stand, with one Eredivisie match-day remaining, the two sides will meet again in the first round of the playoffs, although this time the venue will be De Kuip. A home win would mean a second home playoff tie for Feyenoord on 22 May.