SC Heerenveen downs Ajax 1-0

Updated: 13 May 2007 14:39 IST

Lasse Nilsson scored on Wednesday to give SC Heerenveen a 1-0 win over Ajax in the Dutch league playoffs for a berth in next season's Champions League.

SC Heerenveen downs Ajax 1-0
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Amsterdam:

Lasse Nilsson scored on Wednesday to give SC Heerenveen a 1-0 win over Ajax in the Dutch league playoffs for a berth in next season's Champions League.

Alves set up Nilsson for the game's only goal in the 18th minute.

Simon Cziommer scored in the 13th, but Kennedy Bakircioglu equalized for FC Twente in his team's 1-1 draw with AZ Alkmaar.

Ajax, which beat FC Groningen 3-2 on aggregate last season to secure a place in the third qualifying round of Europe's top club competition, hosts Heerenveen on Sunday in the return match, while FC Twente will be at AZ ahead of a two-leg final involving the two winners.

PSV Eindhoven gained automatic entry into next season's Champions League by winning the Dutch league title.

The losing three teams are all assured of a place in the UEFA Cup, and will be joined by a winning club from another four-team playoff, Roda JC, Feyenoord, FC Groningen or FC Utrecht.

Roda JC drew 0-0 against Utrecht on Wednesday.

NEC Nijmegen, NAC Breda, Vitesse Arnhem and Sparta Rotterdam are in another playoff for the Intertoto Cup. On Wednesday, Fred Benson scored two goals and Mads Junker added another as Vitesse Arnhem downed NAC Breda 3-2. Mike Zonneveld scored Breda's two goals.

The playoff system, introduced for the first time last year, has come under intense criticism from local coaches and soccer commentators.

AZ chairman Dirk Scheringa called the system a "lottery," adding it wasn't "a good reflection of our competition and we should soon sit down with all clubs to evaluate it."

Feyenoord, which finished seventh in the regular season, travels to FC Groningen on Thursday for its first match under interim coach Leo Beenhakker, who took over from Erwin Koeman on Saturday.

Topics : Football Bayern Munchen
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