Darwin Nunez scored the only goal as Benfica beat Ajax 1-0 in Amsterdam to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
rik ten Hag’s men scored twice in the first leg in Portugal but could not break through the visitors’ defense at Johan Cruyff Arena and lead 3-2 on aggregate.
Thought Ajax had taken the lead, but Sebastien Haller’s effort was ruled out for offside by Dusan Tadic, who passed the ball to his teammate from close range.
Ajax striker Edson Alvarez then headed home as the hosts continued to dominate and the same player headed off goal after 20 minutes.
Benfica entered the game slowly, but Goncalo Ramos missed the target with an effort from the corner.
Ramos made another header that went over the Ajax goal as the visitors searched for the opener.
As half an hour passed, Tadic’s pass reached the edge of the penalty area from where Steven Berghuis shot wide before seeing another attempt blocked just a minute later.
Ten minutes before half-time, Benfica goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos made a brilliant save from Antony as the visitors continued to press on.
Vlachodimos then passed a shot from Ryan Gravenberch, who edged past three defenders before launching an effort from the edge of the box.
Benfica’s first real chance came in the 57th minute, but when Nicolas Otamendi took the corner, Jan Vertonghen headed in from close range.
Daley Blind made the right pass to Antony, but the Brazilian headed off the target when he should have done better.
In the 13th minute, Uruguayan striker Nunez cost Ajax for not taking advantage of a chance when he glanced at Alejandro Grimaldo’s free kick.
Ajax held the ball quite a bit but could not break the Benfica defense when the Portuguese team held out.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/champions-league/ajax-rue-missed-chances-as-breakaway-nunez-goal-sends-benfica-into-champions-league-last-eight-41451814.html Ajax rue missed the opportunity as Nunez’s breakthrough goal sent Benfica into the Champions League round 8