Ajax sees Europe League dream burst on frustrating evening at Roma

The quarterfinal of the Europa League is the final station of Ajax this year. The Amsterdammers were also better in Italy than AS Roma, but do not buy anything for that: after the 1-2 of last week, it became the same Thursday evening (1-1).
Ajaxs mission was clear: score at least twice to enforce an extension in any case. That had to be done with Sean Klaiber, who replaced the suspended Devyne Rensch. At Roma Rick Karsdorp and Henrikh Mkhitaryan returned to the basic self.
A lot of Ajax didn
t show in the first half. After a tease by Dusan Tadic, Davy Klaassen got a big chance, but his shot was cracked – after a mistake by goalkeeper Pau López. On the other hand, Roma was imminent in the counter. A goal by Jordan Veretout was rejected because of offside play.

A little scare for Ajax. It seemed like a dramatic start for the people of Amsterdam, but the goal of AS Roma is rejected because of the offside. #romaja #UEL pic.twitter.com/E1JRQ9O241
— VTBL ⚽ (@vtbl) April 15, 2021

Shortly after the canceled Roma goal, Klaiber had to clear the field with a hamstring injury. Perr Schuurs was his replacement. Ajax had long periods of possession, but the team of trainer Erik ten Hag mainly gave himself an exercise in patience.
In peace Ten Hag intervened: Brian Brobbey entered the field for the once again disappointing Antony. Four minutes after kick-off for the second half it was immediately hit: Schuurs reached Brobbey with a nice pass from backwards and the nineteen-year-old Ajax striker entered the ball: 0-1.

BRIAN BROBBEY! The invaders are doing it for Ajax. Perr Schuurs with the deep ball custom and Brian Brobbey stays calm and puts the ball in the net. Comeback in the making? #UEL #romaja pic.twitter.com/QoGX9ILKWe
— VTBL ⚽ (@vtbl) April 15, 2021

Ajax did not follow the flying start much later: Tadic passed López for the second time and seemed to turn the diptych completely upside down. In the run-up to the goal, however, the VAR saw a violation by Nicolás Tagliafico on Mkhitaryan. Referee Antony Taylor went along with that.

For a while, Ajax was virtually in the semi-final, but the referee disapproves the goal of Dusan Tadic after a violation of Nicolas Tagliafico… Rightly? #romaja #UEL pic.twitter.com/5Fegwna0mz
— VTBL ⚽ (@vtbl) April 15, 2021

Instead of turning on again, Ajax – presumably motivated by fatigue – let the reins celebrate. Prompt fell the goal on the other side. Edin Dzeko rewarded a sparing Roma outage with a fluke: 1-1.

Edin Dzeko is hurting Ajax. The experienced striker makes the 1-1, and if Ajax scores now, were going to extend. #UEL #romaja pic.twitter.com/pgenyJVFCS
— VTBL ⚽ (@vtbl) April 15, 2021

Ten Hag then opted for all-or-nothing: Mohammed Kudus, Lassina Traoré and Oussama Idrissi entered the field for Edson Álvarez, David Neres and Perr Schuurs, but a final offensive was hardly mentioned. Roma goes to the quarterfinals, where Manchester United waits. Ajax can focus on the cup finals against Vitesse and dragging in the title.