Ajax defeat Real Madrid to qualify for UCL Quarter Finals

Thirteen time UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid are beaten by AFC Ajax 1-4 at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid, Spain. Ajax have booked place in quarter-finals of Champions League 2018-19 season. Hakim Ziyech, David Neres, Dusan Tadic and Lasse Schone scored for Ajax Amsterdam. Marco Asensio was the lone scorer for Real Madrid CF. Ajax won 5-3 on aggregate after losing 1-2 at home in first leg. Real Madrid have been eliminated from premier European football tournament after remaining champions in last three consecutive seasons. AFC Ajax have qualified for quarter finals of Champions League after 22 years since 1996-97 UCL edition. Four time European football champions Ajax will fancy another shot at UEFA Champion League title glory in 2018-19 edition.

AFC Ajax started the match brilliantly by attacking the defending champions Real Madrid right from onset in first half. Hakim Ziyech scored opening goal on 7’ with Dusan Tadic assist, to equalize aggregate score. David Neres kicked second goal on 18’ with the help of Tadic, to move Ajax into lead on aggregate. Los Blancos counter-attacked multiple times, but could not convert. Scoreline read 0-2 in favour of visitors AFC Ajax on half time. Real Madrid fans at Santiago Bernabéu were stunned to see Ajax Amsterdam lead 2-3 on aggregate.

Dusan Tadic helps Ajax beat Real Madrid to advance to UCL Quarter Finals
Dusan Tadic helps Ajax beat Real Madrid to advance to UCL Quarter Finals

Ajax did not lose the choke-hold applied on European reigning title holders Real Madrid in the second half. They consolidated the dominance with third goal on 62’, thanks to Dusan Tadic hit. Los Merengues responded with their only goal on 70’ by Marco Asensio. Ajax one-upped the ante with 72’ goal by Lasse Schöne goal. Los Vikingos could not score another goal till match close. Real Madrid lost 1-4 to Ajax at home, who advanced to UCL quarter final with 5-3 aggregate. Dusan Tadic was named man of the match for his exceptional soccer performance.

AFC Ajax manager Erik ten Hag said in post-match press conference: “It’s a historic victory of incredible importance; it’s almost unthinkable, almost nobody believed it could happen. The plan we had was to have possession and make Real Madrid uncomfortable in their game. We performed really well in transition and defended incredibly; all the boys have been fantastic and I’m very happy for Ajax and Dutch football. We’re alive in three competitions and have had a very good season, but the prizes don’t come until the end of the campaign. We want to achieve our goals, we have to set the bar even higher and continue to improve.”

Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag stated: “This was pretty close to perfection. Over the two matches we definitely deserve to progress to the next round. I enjoyed watching my team immensely this evening. Let’s not forget that we started in the qualifying rounds. But we are still in the running for three prizes, and we want to win them all. I have no influence on the draw, so I’m not going to think about it. All the possible opponents are big teams. But so were Real Madrid.”

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