Benfica kicks Ajax out of Champions League

Darwin Nunez’s header in the 77th minute sent Benfica surprising Ajax to advance to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Wednesday (16/3), after the Portuguese club won 1-0 in the second leg of the last 16 to take a 3-2 aggregate advantage.

Benfica didn’t have a shot on target at all before Nunez beat Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana with Alex Grimaldo’s free kick and silenced Johan Cruyff Arena.

Ajax, who appeared dominant in the first half, could not rise from the shock and had to be eliminated from the Champions League.

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Benfica, who knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League in the group stage, will now feature in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2016.

Ajax striker Sebastien Haller is looking to score in eight consecutive Champions League games after scoring 11 goals in seven appearances in Europe’s most prestigious club competition.

However, he appeared dull and less shining than Nunez. The Uruguay striker scored his 26th goal in all competitions this season.

Ajax, who won all their matches in the group stage, twice took the lead in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in Lisbon but had to settle for a 2-2 draw. (AFP/OL-1)