Ajax lose to AS Roma 1-2 in Europa League quarter final tie

Roma's goalkeeper Pau Lopez makes a save in front of Ajax's Edson Alvarez. Photo: AP Photo/Peter Dejong
Roma’s goalkeeper Pau Lopez makes a save in front of Ajax’s Edson Alvarez. Photo: AP Photo/Peter Dejong

A goal just three minutes from time gave AS Roma a 2-1 away win against Ajax in the first leg of their quarter final Europa League tie.

A missed penalty by captain Dusan Tadic and a first half blunder by debutant keeper Kjell Scherpen helped the Italians on their way, leaving the Amsterdammers with everything to play for in next week’s return leg in Rome. Manchester United or Granada awaiting the victors in the semi-finals.

This was a painful lesson, because we should have won by a couple of goals. I should have scored from the penalty, but I chose to hit it straight and the keeper saved it. That happens,’ Tadić said after the game.

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag defended the young keeper Scherpen, who at 21 was making his first European appearance for the side because Maarten Stekelenburg is not fit. ‘He is mentally very strong,’ Ten Hag said. ‘He will learn from this on his way to the top.’

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