Feyenoord hold off Marseille to reach Conference League final


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Marseilles (AFP) – Feyenoord are playing their first European final in two decades after holding Marseille to a 0-0 draw in France on Thursday to win their Europa Conference League semi-final 3-2 on aggregate.

The Dutch club confirmed victory in the first leg last week in Rotterdam to face Jose Mourinho’s Roma in the inaugural final of Europe’s new Third Division competition.

That game will be played on May 25 in the Albanian capital Tirana, 250 kilometers from where Feyenoord started their campaign against Kosovo’s Drita in the qualifying rounds last July.

Marseille’s hopes of turning things around were dealt a blow when playmaker Dimitri Payet was forced out with an injury before half-time at the Velodrome.

The home side were stripped of some of their support with the stadium closed at one end by UEFA as punishment following the unrest that marred their victory over Greek club PAOK in the quarter-finals.

They have rarely seemed to really score after losing Payet and they need to focus on their quest to finish in the top three of Ligue 1 and qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Feyenoord failed to score in a game for the first time since January but didn’t need to after a brace from Cyriel Dessers and a deflected strike from Luis Sinisterra gave them the first leg victory.

The game against Roma will be their 19th game in the competition this season and they will be aiming to lift their fourth European trophy.

First Dutch club to win the European Cup beating Celtic 2-1 in the 1970 final, they went on to win the UEFA Cup in 1974 and again in 2002 beating Borussia Dortmund 3-2 at their own De Kuip stadium .

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