Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech and Cameroonian goalkeeper Andre Onana were key players on the night as Ajax beat Juventus 2-1 in Turin to eliminate the Italians from the UEFA Champions League in one of the biggest shocks in this season’s competitions.
Cristiano Ronaldo had put Juventus ahead, powering home a header past Onana from a Miralem Pjanic corner in the 28th minute before Ziyech laid on the equalizer for Donny van de Beek six minutes later. Ajax went ahead through captain Matthijs de Ligt in the 67th minute and Ziyech thought he had sealed the win late on, only to be flagged offside.
Onana was largely untroubled in a surprisingly flat performance from Juventus making only one save while Ziyech put in an energetic man of the match performance with four key passes and seven crosses – more than any other Ajax player. Fellow Moroccan Noussair Mazraoui was forced off after just 11 minutes with an ankle injury.
Ajax will now face the winner of Manchester City and Tottenham’s quarter-final. Spurs take a 1-0 lead from the first leg into Wednesday’s second leg at the Etihad Stadium. Victory marks Ajax’s return to the last four of Europe’s premier competition for the first time since 1997.
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