AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Feyenoord will have to wait at least another week to secure a first Dutch league title in 18 years after they were stunned 3-0 at Rotterdam rivals Excelsior on Sunday, a result that brings second-placed Ajax Amsterdam back into contention.
Victory would have meant a first championship since 1999 for the former European Cup winners, but instead they go into the final round of matches next Sunday with a slender advantage over Ajax.
Feyenoord have 79 points from 33 matches, a point ahead of Ajax. The leaders also have a +5 goal difference over their rivals.
Three goals in nine second-half minutes from Nigel Hasselbaink, Stanley Elbers and Ryan Koolwijk sealed the shock victory for Excelsior, who had lost their previous nine meetings with Feyenoord and had already suffered 4-1 and 4-0 defeats in the league and Dutch Cup this season.
Ajax thumped bottom side Go Ahead Eagles 4-0 as Justin Kluivert, Kasper Dolberg, Frenkie de Jong and Mateo Cassierra all found the net.
Feyenoord are at home to Heracles in their final match of the campaign, with their opponents seeking a win that could take them into the Dutch league playoffs for the Europa League if other results go their way.
Ajax are at home to mid-table Willem II, who will have nothing but pride to play for.
Since they were last champions under then manager Leo Beenhakker, Feyenoord have been forced to watch perennial rivals Ajax and PSV Eindhoven dominate the game in the Netherlands.
Ajax have won the most Dutch league titles with 33, while PSV are second on the winners’ list with 23.
When Feyenoord last won the championship they were level with PSV on 14 titles each, a sign of the contrasting fortunes of the two clubs since.
Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Toby Davis