29.1 C
Friday, February 28, 2020
Home Sports Football Times Ajax secures spot in draw for Champions League elims

Ajax secures spot in draw for Champions League elims


PARIS: Summer signing Edson Alvarez and captain Dusan Tadic scored as last season’s semi-finalists Ajax beat APOEL 2-0 in their Champions League playoff second leg on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) to secure their spot in Thursday’s draw for the group stage.

Mexican international defender Alvarez, a 15 million-euro ($16.6 million) recruit from Club America to replace Juventus-bound Matthijs de Ligt, headed home from a set-piece two minutes before half-time as Ajax were rewarded for their first-half domination.

Tadic then controlled a cross field ball from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on the edge of the area before rifling home on his left foot with 10 minutes left in Amsterdam as Ajax advanced after a goalless draw in the first leg in Cyprus.

Ajax Amsterdam’s Serbian forward Dusan Tadic celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League Group phase. AFP PHOTO

There were nervy moments for Erik ten Hag’s team, who thought they had gone 2-0 up just after half time when Huntelaar headed in off the underside of the bar.

However, after a VAR review, the goal was disallowed for an extremely tight offside against Joel Veltman in the build-up.

Moments later APOEL had the ball in the net at the other end, but this time the offside was clear for all to see and there would be no precious away goal for the Cypriot champions.

Ajax stunned Real Madrid and Juventus on their way to last season’s Champions League semi-finals, where they were beaten by Tottenham Hotspur. They had already edged out Greek champions PAOK in the third qualifying round.

As well as De Ligt, the four-time European champions have lost midfield starlet Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona since last season’s remarkable run.

Donny van de Beek, who has been linked with Real Madrid, did not play against APOEL, reportedly due to injury.

Ajax will be in the second pot in Thursday’s draw in Monaco, which is due to start at 1600 GMT.

That means they will avoid an early rematch with Tottenham or Madrid, who are both in the same pot. However, they could be drawn alongside holders Liverpool, who are in pot one.


Local airlines maintain flights to virus-hit South Korea

FLAG carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Thursday said it still maintained the same number of regular flights to and from South Korea despite the...

Earth captures new ‘mini moon’

BIG NEWS (thread 1/3). Earth has a new temporarily captured object/Possible mini-moon called 2020 CD3. On the night of Feb. 15, my Catalina Sky...

Another Filipina in HK tests positive for Covid-19

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Hong Kong, has confirmed a report that another Filipina tested positive...

Just call me Harry, prince says as royal exit looms

EDINBURGH: Prince Harry asked to be introduced as just "Harry" at an event on Wednesday, kicking off a final round of public engagements before...

Lacson: ABS-CBN franchise to expire on May 4 even with ‘1,000’ congressional resolutions

SEN. Panfilo Lacson on Thursday said that the franchise of ABS-CBN Corporation would expire on May 4 whether Congress would pass "100 or 1,000...

Today’s Front Page February 28, 2020

Today’s Front Page February 28, 2020