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Ajax makes history as a qualifier

Ajax makes history as a qualifier

It’s not only the fact that Ajax has qualified for the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 22 years that is special.  The Amsterdam club is the first club to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League after three qualifying rounds.

From Sturm Graz...
The European season for Ajax began on July 25, 2018.  The Austrian club Sturm Graz was the first obstacle that went smoothly for Erik ten Hag’s team (2-0 and 1-3 wins).  After that, Ajax took on Standard Liège in Belgium, playing to a 2-2 draw.  In Amsterdam, Standard was defeated by 3-0.

via Kiev ..
At the end of August, the strong Dynamo Kiev came to Amsterdam.  This team also was soundly trounced.  The 3-0 win in Amsterdam had Kiev by the throat, and with the 0-0 in the Ukraine, the ticket to the group phase had been earned!

Munich, Madrid ..
In the group phase, Ajax went to battle against Bayern Munich for the group win.  The team remained undefeated once again, but the Ajacieds were forced to relinquish first place in the group to the German team.  And the draw wasn’t for the faint of hear: Real Madrid.

Despite a fantastic game in Amsterdam, Ajax travelled to the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu with a 1-2 loss behind them.  But there, in the team’s 14th meeting with Madrid, in the 14th European match of the season, Ajax won by 1-4.  The title holder was de-throned.

and to the semi-finals via Turin
With a seemingly difficult draw against Juventus, Ajax kicked off the quarter-finals with new zest.  The Turin club opened the score in Amsterdam, but David Neres scored the tying goal.  With the 1-1 status, Ajax’s confidence was high for the return in Turin.  And rightfully so.

Although Cristiano Ronaldo opened the score on Tuesday, Ajax was very strong.  Donny van de Beek and Matthijs de Ligt, two players from the club’s own academy, scored the goals that would lead the team into the semi-finals.  After 22 years, and the first club who started its European adventure so early.  An incredible achievement.

On April 30th or May 1st, and on May 7th or 8th, we play again, this time against a Premier League club.  On Wednesday, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur will decide who Ajax’s opponent will be for a ticket into the Champions League final.