HomeSportsBenfica advance with shock away triumph over Ajax

Benfica advance with shock away triumph over Ajax

Benfica’s Darwin Nunez (centre) celebrates scoring their first goal against Ajax at the Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam March 15, 2022. — Reuters pic

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AMSTERDAM, March 16 — Striker Darwin Nunez headed home a 77th-minute winner as Benfica grabbed a shock 1-0 victory away at Ajax Amsterdam on Tuesday to secure a surprise Champions League quarter-final place.

The Uruguayan striker rose above the Ajax defence to score from a free kick in a rare attack for the Portuguese club, who put up a stout defensive performance at the Johan Cruyff Arena to advance 3-2 on aggregate.

Benfica’s veteran centre back pair of Jan Vertonghen and Nicolas Otamendi were a defensive wall that Ajax were unable to break down, despite dominating possession and constantly attacking the visitors’ goal.

The Dutch club had won all their group games and, after a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the last-16 tie in Lisbon last month, were expected to ease through to the last eight with home advantage in the second leg. — Reuters

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