Match with all the trimmings between Benfica and Ajax ends in a draw

Ajax was unable to beat Benfica tonight. In Lisbon, the spectacular first leg in the eighth final of the Champions League ended in 2-2. The return is in Amsterdam in three weeks.

Daley Blind was able to immediately set a record after the first whistle. He played his 43rd match for Ajax in the Champions League, knocking Jari Litmanen off the throne.

In the very restless first half, Ajax struck twice. Noussair Mazraoui took advantage of the Portuguese loss of possession in the eighteenth minute. After a combination he found Dusan Tadic. The captain remained calm and shot well with the right: 0-1. Text continues below the Tweet.

It seemed to be a simple evening for the Amsterdammers. However, it suddenly became 1-1. After a corner, former Ajax player Jan Vertonghen was able to take advantage of a slip at Mazraoui. The Belgian gave in hard, after which Sébastien Haller unfortunately worked the ball into his own goal.

Fast recovery of top scorer Haller

Haller, who scored ten times in the group stage and is the top scorer in the Champions League, was not upset. Less than four minutes after his mistake, the striker made it 1-2. A pass from Steven Berghuis worked in the Ivorian in two instances. Just before half time he also had the 1-3 on his shoe. Midfielder Esdon Álvarez hit the post with a diagonal shot, after which Haller missed the rebound for open goal.

Ryan Gravenberch, who was preferred over Davy Klaassen, and Mazraoui had opportunities to increase the lead in the lively second half. The midfielder did not take well and the right back encountered goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos. Benfica also had several opportunities and had the upper hand after the break. Roman Yaremchuk scored the deserved equalizer more than fifteen minutes before time. He was attentive after Remko Pasveer couldn’t control a hard shot: 2-2.

The return is in the Johan Cruijff Arena on Tuesday 15 March. The winner of the diptych qualifies for the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Ajax setup: feather; Mazraoui (Rensch/92), Timber, Martinez, Blind (Tagliafico/73); Álvarez, Gravenberch (Klaassen/73), Berghuis; Antony, Haller, Tadic