February 6, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Ajax is er nog niet: ex-Gent spits Yaremchuk trekt gelijkspel over de streep voor Benfica

Ajax not arrived yet: Ex-Gent striker Yarmshuk draws with Benfica

In the Dutch league, Ajax is on its way to a new title, but the Champions League is something different. The Amsterdam team couldn’t get over the Benfica crisis and still had to work hard in the second leg.

Two teams rarely get together just before a European meet and record a video together. Ajax and Benfica proved that it is possible and during a chess match they showed their icons (Eusebio, Cruyff, …) and a glorious past – both became champions more than thirty times.

At Estadio da Luz it was less friendly. Not only did both clubs want to make a choice in the Champions League quarter-finals, a good result would also bring some calm to the roaring tent. The story of the Overmars in Ajax has already gone viral, but at Benfica they are already in disrepair due to a (possible) bribery scandal.

Unlike the Dutch, the Portuguese club is also lagging behind in the competition, and the title has already begun. The “crowd hum” (to put it mildly) they did last night when Dusan Tadic scored 0-1 after a poor defense. It was a round of applause. Amazing how the Serbia captain crossed his right foot into the goal. His tenth of the season.

However, Benfica was not upset. Vertonghen may be a warm hearted to his former club, he wiped them out with Tottenham at the time and led the hunt for an equaliser. In a corner kick, both his header and shot were blocked, but when Mazraoui then put in the wrong foot and crossed the line aggressively, Ajax striker Sebastian Haller shot the ball into his own goal.

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Haller corrects his goal

The Red Devil didn’t cheer loudly (out of respect) and perhaps either. Because unfortunately enough, three minutes later the roles were already reversed. This time Haller was too fast for him in a cross and gave the visitors the lead again twice. The Frenchman has already scored in every CL match and is the top scorer with 11 goals. Lewandowski and Salah will have to speed up.

The question was: Can Benfica beat a (usually) strong Ajax defense after the break, which has barely swallowed any goals this season? Daley Blind, who was ready for his 300th game with the team from Amsterdam, 43 of which was on the Champions Ball – a record – is more motivating. But he and his teammates got away well when Everton’s skewed shot went wide. Even when top scorer Nunez missed a shoe in the match that ended 2-2. Or when Ramos missed a good shot. But it was inevitable. When the Pasphere couldn’t catch a long shot, there was only Roman Yarimchuk as chicken to lead his team at the same level. With his seventh goal this season but the first in 2022, the former Ghent striker confirmed that we have another very exciting comeback game.