Five second-half goals earned SC Heerenveen a comfortable but ultimately meaningless victory over FK Ventspils as they bowed out of the UEFA Europa League.
Needing to win and hope Sporting Clube de Portugal could do them a favour at Hertha BSC Berlin, the Dutch hosts kept their end of the bargain. Second-half strikes from Mika Väyrynen and Viktor Elm, before two goals in as many minutes from substitute Gerald Sibon and a fifth from Daryl Janmaat overwhelmed already-eliminated Ventspils. A 1-0 win for Hertha meant it was only good enough for third in Group D, however.
Heerenveen dominated from start to finish, with Roy Beerens setting up three goals and firing their first shot in anger with a smart left-footed effort. They should have forged ahead on 15 minutes, but Michal Papadopulos could only steer high over the bar from close range. Beerens did test goalkeeper Pavel Chesnovski, while Elm came close with a header from Väyrynen's cross as the hosts turned the screw. Ventspils' Eduards Višņakovs had the visitors' best chance, forcing Brian Vandenbussche to block his rasping shot from inside the area.
However, a goal that had long been on the cards finally arrived on 55 minutes when Elm rose to provide the knockdown for Väyrynen to bundle the ball home. Three minutes later it was all over as a contest as Beerens provided the perfect cross from the right and Elm met it with a header which clipped the right-hand post on its way in.
A repeat performance followed on 77 minutes when Beerens supplied another ball from the right for Sibon to send a looping header over the helpless Chesnovski. Sibon steered home his second almost from the restart before another neat move and pass from Beerens lined up Janmaat for a simple finish two minutes from time.