Darwin Nunez scored late as Benfica defeated Ajax 1-0 – and 3-2 on mixture – to succeed in the Champions League quarter-finals for the primary time in six years and finish the Dutch group’s run within the European competitors.
Nunez discovered the online with a 77th-minute header from a free kick to assist Benfica make it to the final eight for the fifth time of their historical past. The groups had drawn 2-2 within the first leg in Portugal.
Two-time European champion Benfica, who started this yr’s marketing campaign within the third qualifying spherical, have been eradicated by Bayern Munich within the 2016 quarter-finals.
Ajax had already equalled their most prolific Champions League marketing campaign with 22 targets however struggled to capitalise on their possibilities in Amsterdam.
Striker Sebastien Haller, the primary participant to attain in his opening seven Champions League video games and the quickest to succeed in 11 targets within the competitors’s historical past, had a objective disallowed for offside early within the recreation.
The win prolonged Benfica’s unbeaten run in all competitions to eight matches, although the guests got here into the sport off a 1-1 residence draw in opposition to Vizela within the Portuguese high flight on Friday.
Ajax have been one in all three groups to win all six of their group-stage matches, together with Liverpool and Bayern, however have now been knocked out on the first hurdle of the knockout rounds.
The Dutch membership have been within the final 16 for the second time since 2006, although they reached the semi-finals the final time they acquired this far three seasons in the past.
However Ajax boss Erik Ten Hag, who has been mentioned as a possible substitute for Ralf Rangnick at Manchester United, joined the Premier League membership in exiting this competitors on Tuesday night.