Fri. Jul 19th, 2019

Ajax Amsterdam skipper in disbelief after heading winner against Juve

Ajax Amsterdam Matthijs de LigtAjax Amsterdam’s teenaged skipper Matthijs de Ligt headed the winner on a dream Champions League night in Turin.

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Ajax Amsterdam captain Matthijs de Ligt was at a loss for words after his well-placed header sent Juventus crashing out of the Champions League on Tuesday in a 3-2 aggregate win completed in Turin.

Erik ten Hag’s young Dutch side, largely built from their own academy, backed up a 4-1 victory over kings of Europe, Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in the last 16 by stunning Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juve 2-1.

“It’s bizarre, it’s not normal. I have no words for it,” De Ligt told BT Sport.

“We have shown once again that we are very strong and that we can make it difficult for large teams.

“We have beaten Real and Juventus, two intended title candidates… I wasn’t born the last time we reached the semis.”

Ronaldo put Juve ahead before the half-hour mark with a superb header that gave Ajax keeper André Onana no chance, but Donny van de Beek reacted sharply to put the visitors back on level terms just moments later.

In the 67th minute the 19-year-old De Ligt rose to head home from a corner to give Ajax a lead they thoroughly deserved after an incredible second half performance when they were clearly the better of the two sides.

“I was going a bit crazy because we couldn’t convert any of the chances,” De Ligt told Dutch television channel Veronica TV.

The Ajax skipper felt that the team deserved to win by a bigger margin. Juventus had a late penalty claim waved away with VAR clearly dispelling a dubious handball claim. Hakim Ziyech was denied a third goal for Ajax by the self same video assistant but they held on to claim a famous victory.

“In the first half they were slightly better and deserved to take the lead,” said De Jong.

“But apart from the first five minutes of the second half, we dominated after the break and were well worth our victory.

“In fact, we probably should have won by more.”

Ajax will face the winner of the Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspurs tie in their first Champions League semi-final since 1997. Spurs take a 1-0 lead into their second leg clash with City at the Etihad on Wednesday night.

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