After a good quarter-hour of feeling out, it was Devyne Rensch who ushered in the opening goal. The right-back began on a promising rush and was fouled in Shakhtar's penalty area. Kudus fired the penalty shot perfectly: 1-0. Two minutes later, Bergwijn left a colossal opportunity on the table: his shot went wide. After a half-hour, Kudus curled his shot off the post.
Beautiful Ajax attack
Ajax maintained full pressure on the visitors, which did not go unrewarded. In the 32nd minute, a great play by Ajax with multiple attackers produced a second goal. After a clever step-over by striker Christian Rasmussen, Steven Bergwijn fired a hard, clean shot: 2-0. Just two minutes later, Kudus scored his second to make it three for Ajax on the scoreboard. The Ghanian finished a quick run with a fine strike and extended Ajax's lead at the half.
The Ajax squad tried to maintain pressure on the Ukrainians after the break. That produced fewer chances than in the first half, and the home team did seem to run out of steam. Ajax became sloppier. Shakhtar played a more compact style and, with Lassina Traoré, also brought an old friend onto the pitch. The forward from Burkina Faso wore the Ajax shirt in 31 official matches between 2019 and 2021. Traoré celebrated two championships in that period.
After only substitute Brian Brobbey came close to a goal toward the end but had his shot blocked, it became clear that Ajax would not score again. The score that had already been reached at the half stood as the final scoreline.
Ajax – Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 (3-0)
19. Kudus 1-0 (penalty)
32. Bergwijn 2-0
34. Kudus 3-0
Ajax (first half):
Gorter; Rensch, Hato, Aertssen, Salah-Eddine; Tahirović, Klaassen ©, Van den Boomen; Kudus, Rasmussen, Bergwijn
Ajax (second half):
Pasveer; Gooijer, Hato (61. Milovanovic), Bassey, Wijndal; Taylor, Klaassen (61. Hlynsson), Van den Boomen (61. Vos); Daramy, Brobbey, Godts