Ajax draw against Benfica in Champions League away tie

Sebastien Haller in action. Photo: Maurice van de Steen ANP
Sebastien Haller in action during the match. Photo: Maurice van Steen ANP

Despite taking the lead twice, Amsterdam football club Ajax could do no more than manage a 2-2 away draw against Portuguese side Benfica in their Champions League round of 16 tie on Wednesday evening.

An own goal by Champions League top scorer Sébastien Haller put the Portuguese team back in contention after Dušan Tadić had scored for Ajax in the 18th minute. Shortly afterwards Haller scored one back only for Benfica to equalize again after the break.

‘I’m in mixed minds about the game,’ Ajax coach Erik ten Hag told the Uefa website after the match.

‘It’s a good result but, on the other hand, we let it slip. We had two or three good chances that we didn’t convert. Álvarez, Gravenberch and Antony all could have scored. And then we conceded on the counter, completely unnecessary.’

The return leg takes place in Amsterdam on March 15.

Ajax, who reached the round of 16 without conceding a match in the group stage,  have scored 22 goals in the Champions League this season, matching their previous highest totals recorded in 1995/96 and 2018/19.

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