Groningen to face NEC in playoff for UEFA place

May 4, 2008

AMSTERDAM, May 4 (Reuters) - Marcus Berg scored twice to help Groningen to a 5-3 aggregate win over Utrecht on Sunday in the Dutch playoffs for a UEFA Cup place.

Groningen will face NEC Nijmegen, who eliminated Roda JC Kerkrade with a 3-0 aggregate win, for a place in Europe's second-tier club competition.

Berg opened the scoring for Groningen nine minutes into the second half but midway through the second half Kevin Vandenbergh equalised from a rebound.

While Utrecht chased a winner, after a 2-2 result in the first leg, Ondrej Svejdik and again Berg struck on the counter-attack to seal a 3-1 second-leg win.

NEC, who led 1-0 after the first leg, cruised to a 2-0 home win with Jhonny van Beukering and Dominique Kivuvu on target.

On Saturday, Twente Enschede reached the playoff final for a place in the Champions League third qualifying round by beating NAC Breda 8-1 on aggregate.

They will face either Ajax Amsterdam or Heerenveen, who will meet on Monday in Amsterdam. Ajax won the first leg 2-1.