Ajax began Thursday with Carlos Forbs and Branco van den Boomen in the starting line-up. Steven Berghuis was ill last week and started on the bench. Forbs began as right-winger, taking the position of the departed Mohammed Kudus.
The start of the match in the Johan Cruijff ArenA was fairly decent. Brian Brobbey had a small chance after a few minutes of play, but keeper Sluga reacted quickly to prevent any danger.
At that point, no one could suspect that would be the only opportunity for Ajax in the first half. The home team's play was too slow to break down the green wall of Ludogorets.
Anyone hoping for a more productive second half was disappointed. Once again, Ajax couldn't get much going. The visitors gradually began to hope that there would be something to gain in Amsterdam. After an hour, Ludogorets took the lead via Matías Tissera. He worked a cross from the right into the goal with two touches: 0-1.
Unfortunately, Ajax didn't bounce back after that. Their play remained mediocre and Ludogorets threatened from time to time. However, that didn't lead to huge chances either. In the dying minutes, Brian Brobbey came close to a one-on-one against the Bulgarian keeper. However, he was run off the ball. Substitute Steven Berghuis shot well wide on the rebound. That chance exemplified the laborious play of the home team.
Although Ajax didn't show its best side on Thursday, Steijn's team does go through to the main Europa League tournament. The draw will be on Friday at 1:00 pm.
Ajax – Ludogorets 0-1 (0-0)
62. Tissera 0-1
Ajax: Gorter, Rensch, Medić, Hato, Wijndal (81. Salah-Eddine), Van den Boomen (46. Klaassen), Tahirović, Taylor, Forbs (59. Berghuis), Brobbey, Bergwijn (71. Godts)