AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Feyenoord have a second chance to win their first Dutch league title in almost two decades when they host Heracles Almelo on Sunday in their final game of the season, having imploded in against Excelsior Rotterdam last weekend.
A win at home against mid-table Heracles Almelo will seal the 14-times champions their first title since 1999, while holding off long-time rivals Ajax Amsterdam, who sit one point behind.
Feyenoord could have wrapped it up last Sunday but were caught cold by three goals in nine second half minutes from neighbouring Rotterdam, who had lost all of their previous nine derby encounters.
The shock 3-0 loss left Feyenoord players accused of choking, which coach Giovanni van Bronkhorst concurred with.
“We were not ourselves and that was from the first minute,” said the former Arsenal and Barcelona defender.
”Things that worked out well the whole season for us went wrong against Excelsior.
“It has to change for Heracles Almelo. We must now turn the disappointment into a positive. We are playing at home and at home, Feyenoord are always strong.”
Ajax, who qualified for the Europa League final after edging Olympique Lyonnais of France in their semi-final tie on Thursday, need victory at Willem II Tilburg and for Feyenoord to fail to win if they are to take the title for a record-extending 33rd time.
Writing by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ian Ransom