Record number of tickets sold for Ajax Champions League tie

Ajax will be hoping for more moments like this one against Roma in the group stage in January.

More than 34,000 tickets have been sold for the first leg of Ajax’s Champions League quarter-final tie against Chelsea on Tuesday – a record for a women’s match in the Netherlands.

Ajax will start the match as underdogs against a team that reached the semi-finals of last year’s competition and is leading the Women’s Super League in England.

The size of their task was underlined at the weekend when Chelsea beat Arsenal 3-1 in a top of the table clash, inspired by England international forward Lauren James.

Ajax, meanwhile, will be missing experienced striker Sherida Spitse, who is suspended for the first leg, and forward Ashleigh Weerden, who is recovering from a knee operation.

Coach Suzanne Bakker said enthusiasm had been stirred after her team won all three home matches in the group stages against Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and AS Roma to reach the knockout rounds for the first time.

“The key is for us to be ourselves,” Bakker said. “We showed in the group stage that we can have plenty of possession and limit the number of chances for our opponents.”

The return match is in London on March 27.

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