Eredivise: PSV retain Dutch league title

April 9, 2006

AMSTERDAM, April 9 (Reuters) - PSV Eindhoven retained the Dutch league title on Sunday with a 1-1 draw at home to Groningen, moving on to 80 points with two games left to play.

Second-placed AZ Alkmaar lost 1-0 at fifth-placed Ajax Amsterdam and remain on 70 points, also with two matches left.

PSV coach Guus Hiddink, who is leaving the club at the end of the season, told Tele 2 TV: 'This is a beautiful championship, especially because nobody, including ourselves, considered us candidates for the title.

'If I consider how my team has played this season, I have to pay my respects to them.'

PSV made a struggling start against Groningen, who are still chasing a playoff spot, and went 1-0 down when Erik Nevland struck four minutes before the interval.

Club top scorer Jefferson Farfan lifted his total to 19 when DaMarcus Beasley set him up 90 seconds into the second half to level the score.

Nourdin Boukhari sealed Ajax's win against Alkmaar when he netted a cross from Hatem Trabelsi after 33 minutes.

Ajax remain fifth with 54 points, one behind fourth placed Utrecht, who were beaten 1-0 by Vitesse Arnhem.

Teams finishing second to fifth go to a post-season playoff for a Champions League third qualifying round spot and two UEFA Cup berths.