Ajax won Thursday evening’s game against Getafe (2-1), but the outcome wasn’t good enough for the team to progress to the next round in the UEFA Champions League. Erik ten Hag’s team’s European adventure thus comes to a somewhat premature end.
Ajax knew that they needed to be on the hunt for goals directly. The trio on attack leading this consisted of Ryan Babel, Dusan Tadic and Danilo.
Setback in the opening phase
The Amsterdam team made it clear from the opening whistle that they were on the hunt for an early goal. Unfortunately for Ten Hag’s team, the early goal was scored into its own goal. On a throw-in, the ball landed at Jaime Mata’s feet, and he shot the ball past Andre Onana: 0-1.
Danilo gives ArenA hope in his debut
This early goal against meant that Ajax needed to score not 3, but 4 goals in order to continue in the Europa League. But the Eredivisie leader’s mission remained unchanged: score goals.
The tying goal came shortly after. Donny van de Beek was cleverly played free in the penalty kick area, and passed the ball to the incoming Danilo. The Brazilian player crowned his debut in the squad by scoring a goal at close range: 1-1.
Ten Hag’s men continued to put on the pressure, but were unable to force two more goals before halftime. On the opposite side, the visitors came close to scoring the 1-2 goal, but the Spanish attempt hit the post.
Eiting scores after Quincy Promes comes in
As soon as the second half started, Ten Hag decided to send Promes in. This was the forward’s return after being sidelined for several weeks with a hamstring injury. Ajax’s top scorer came in, replacing the scoring Danilo.
Soon after this, Ajax struck again. Lisandro Martínez took a free kick and Carel Eiting sent the ball into the goal from the side of the penalty kick area at the one-hour mark: 2-1.
After that, the host dodged a 2-2 situation. A shot by the visitors landed on the post for the third time in this game.
Ajax focusses on 2 fronts
In the final minutes, Ten Hag decided to go for broke. Klaas Jan Huntelaar was sent in for Ryan Gravenberch. The Ajacieds did everything they could to force 2 more goals, but it just didn’t work out.
Ajax defeated the Spanish team, but their European adventure is over. The Ajacieds are now still active on 2 fronts: the KNVB Cup and the national championship.