Captain Kuyt leads Feyenoord to Dutch league title

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) Veteran captain Dirk Kuyt scored a hat trick Sunday as Feyenoord beat Heracles Almelo 3-1 to win its 15th Dutch Eredivisie title and the first in 18 long years for its fervent fans.

Kuyt, 36, who returned to Feyenoord in the twilight of his career saying he wanted to lead the team to the Dutch championship, scored his 100th goal for the club in the first minute to settle nerves throughout Rotterdam. He doubled the lead in the 12th, then put the result beyond doubt with a penalty kick shortly before the end.

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Thousands of fans in the city center watched on large screens and roared in delight after Kuyt’s early opener and again 11 minutes later. The party truly began across the port city when Kuyt grabbed his third.