Tottenham eliminate Ajax in final minutes of UCL Semi-final

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Tottenham managed the impossible as they eliminated Ajax from the Champions League in the final minutes of a spectacular match on Wednesday night in Amsterdam.

What looked like a certain victory for Amsterdam’s football club Ajax turned into heartbreak in the second-half.

Ajax fans were left in tears as the final whistle blew and their team lost the match 2-3, despite racking up a 2-0 lead in the first half of the semi-final match, even having entered the second leg carrying a 1-0 lead.

A hat trick by Tottenham’s Lucas Moura, including one in the sixth minute of extra time, led Tottenham to a 2-3 victory in Amsterdam.

Several strong strikes by Hakim Ziyech after his 35th-minute goal nearly put the match away for Ajax, but either Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris or the carefully placed goalpost kept the ball from hitting the back of Tottenham’s net in the second half.

The goal scoring started fast and furious, with the first successful strike happening in the fifth minute after consistent, aggressive pressure from Ajax.

It started with a sharp shot by Dusan Tadic, that bounced off a defender’s leg before being knocked aside by Lloris.

As Ajax set up for the corner, Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt quickly separated from his defender Kieran Trippier, when Lasse Schöne sent the ball in. It connected off the head of de Ligt from six meters out, with Trippier left standing several meters away, and into the back of the net. A quick check for a foul or offsides play by the video referee showed that the goal was indeed a good one.

Ajax finally made it 2-0 thanks to Hakim Ziyech’s blast past Lloris in the 35th minute. The midfielder received a strong pass from Tadic, who first got the ball off teammate Donny van de Beek.

With both Van de Beek, Ziyech, and Tadic clear to shoot, Lloris was forced to stay back towards the goal line and guess where a shot would originate. He was ready for Ziyech’s shot, which came from about 12 meters out on the keeper’s right side, and curved into the opposite side of the net.

But in the 55th minute, a pass from Dele Alli to Lucas Moura gave Moura a clear shot on the Ajax goal. Moura kept the ball on the ground and knocked it under the diving André Onana’s left hand to bring Tottenham back in the match.

Moments later, Moura scored again to bring the match level after a calamity of errors in front of the Ajax net.

Onana made a brilliant save against a hard shot by Fernando Llorente but the keeper was unable to hold on. Llorente missed a chance to put a rebound away, and Onana dove to smother the ball but missed as Schöne dribbled the ball away.

When Schone’s attempt to clear failed, the ball trickled out eventually landing at Moura’s feet who easily kicked the ball in the net. The Tottenham strike left Ajax with a one goal lead on aggregate only.

It was Moura again at the 90+6 mark, as Alli managed to get the ball to his teammate at the top of the box. Moura was covered both by De Ligt and Nicolás Tagliafico, but the Tottenham star managed to sneak the ball between them, kicking it past Onana, and into the bottom-left corner of the net.

Tottenham fans roared with excitement, and a few last-second Ajax opportunities on offence proved fruitless.

The Ajax squad collapsed to the ground stunned in defeat, as the London squad crashed on top of each other ready to take on Liverpool in the Champions League final on June 1 in Madrid.

Pochettino-Klopp

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