Ajax reach last-16 for first time since 2006 after AEK Athens win

Dusan Tadic scores twice as crowd trouble mars Group E clash

Ajax’s 2-0 win away to AEK Athens was marred by crowd trouble. Photograph: Costas Baltas/Reuters

Ajax’s 2-0 win away to AEK Athens was marred by crowd trouble. Photograph: Costas Baltas/Reuters

 

AEK Athens 0 Ajax 2

Ajax Amsterdam reached the Champions League knockout stages for the first time since 2006 after a Dusan Tadic brace gave the Dutch side a 2-0 win over 10-man AEK Athens in Greece on Tuesday.

The result left four-time European Cup winners Ajax top of Group E on 11 points from five games, one ahead of Bayern Munich who are at home to third-placed Benfica (four points) in the 8.0pm kick-off.

AEK, who had Marko Livaja sent off in the second half, have no points and have been eliminated from European competition after suffering a fifth straight defeat.

Tadic fired Ajax ahead with a 68th-minute penalty and sealed the win four minutes later after the visitors, who have won four titles in Europe’s premier club competition, dominated their subdued rivals.

Although they enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession, Ajax failed to create any chances before midfielder Donny van de Beek hit the post in the 63d minute after Tadic’s clever cut-back from the left.

English referee Michael Oliver awarded Ajax a penalty after Livaja handled a free kick and sent off the Croatian with a second yellow card for the offence before Tadic calmly converted the spot kick.

With AEK reeling, the visitors delivered the killer blow as substitute Klaas Jan Huntelaar squared the ball to Tadic and the Serbia forward made no mistake from eight metres after home keeper Vasilios Barkas was caught out of position.

Ajax celebrate their progression into the last-16 of the Champions League. Photograph: Costas Baltas/Reuters
Ajax celebrate their progression into the last-16 of the Champions League. Photograph: Costas Baltas/Reuters

AEK were denied a consolation in the closing stages when visiting keeper Andre Onana produced a superb save to keep out a thundering Lucas Boye shot from the edge of the penalty area.

The fixture in Athens was marred by violent scenes before kick-off.

Ajax fans came under attack in the Greek capital as home supporters threw flares into the stands housing the Dutch supporters.

Shocking photos showed police officers hitting Ajax fans, leaving some of them caked in blood in the away end.

Footage posted on social media also appeared to show a man leaving the AEK stands to throw a molotov cocktail at the Ajax supporters.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.