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FC Emmen have been promoted to the Dutch top-flight Eredivisie for the first time after defeating Sparta Rotterdam in the second leg of their Jupiler Play-Offs final. The first match in Emmen had ended in a goalless draw. Sparta are relegated to the second-tier Jupiler League. The other two relegated Eredivisie sides are Roda JC and FC Twente.
Playing at home, the Rotterdammers initially looked sufficiently strong and confident to settle matters after the first leg had finished goalless. Particularly when Stijn Spierings put Sparta ahead after a powerful rush, but FC Emmen knew they were still just one goal away from promoting to the Eredevisie. That goal came just before the half-time break when Michael Chacon tapped the ball past Leonard Nienhuis rounding out a fine attack.
The game tipped a quarter of an hour into the second half after Sparta claimed a penalty denied by the referee after consulting the video assistant referee. In the wake of the incident, Anjo Jansen scored to give Emmen the lead. Sparta now needed two goals and launched a desperate offensive. Not much later, though, a clever counter-attack by the guests sealed their victory when Alexander Bannink found the net.
Debut for Drenthe side
Emmen joined professional football in 1985 and are now promoted to the Eredivisie for the first time in their 92-year history. And it’s a first for the eastern province of Drenthe, too: never before has one of its clubs made it to the Eredivisie. The last club to make its debut in the Eredivisie was RBC Roosendaal in 2000.
Meanwhile, former Netherlands manager Dick Advocaat failed to avert relegation for Sparta Rotterdam after two seasons in the top flight. Advocaat took over at the helm from Alex Pastoor in mid-season. The oldest club in Dutch professional football have now dropped to the second tier for the third time in club history.