Ajax was the favourite beforehand and also had the better field game against Benfica, but eventually O Glorioso gets to show off a spot among the last eight in the Champions League. The Portuguese press can hardly hide its surprise, but admires Benficas businessand ness and effectiveness.
Nélson Veríssimos team limited himself to defending and was waiting for his chance, which would come fifteen minutes before. “Darwin Núñezs goal was an oasis in the offensive desert for Benfica, which was mainly behind the ball and the faster playing Dutch people. The first half was totally dominated by Ajax, which, however, failed to convert its superiority into great opportunities,” writes A Bola.
The hit literally and figuratively came out of the sky, saw the medium. After 76 minutes Ajax got a cold shower: Grimaldo delivered a free kick at the first pole, Darwin enlisted in the air and left Onana without a chance. From that moment on Ajax attacked more with the heart than with the head. Benfica even left another chance to make it 0-2 via Yaremchuck.
Record places the match in historical perspective. “It was Eusébios heirs who were able to laugh at the expense of Cruijffs heirs: they proved that statistics say nothing. Ajax was largely in the hands of the match — albeit without creating big opportunities — but Benfica was well organized and used the head. The Eagles were able to defend at times when it was needed and in the crucial minutes made the goal that would guarantee a spot in the quarter-finals.”
Público clearly didnt expect Benfica to make the final eight in the Champions League. “Its March 15, and Benficas season still gets meaning: eliminated in the cup tournaments, no chance for the title, but in the Champions League they proved theres something else to play for this season. Benfica has placed itself in front of the quarter-finals, where the wheat is normally separated from the chaff. And that thanks to a 0-1 win with a better Ajax on paper, which was unbeatable during the group phase.
The medium thought that Ajacied Antony was not having his best night and Ajax was doing the badger and praised old rot Nicolás Otamendi and the Soualiho Meïté collapsed halfway. After rest, they provided more stability at Benfica, although the match didnt get more fun. After 76 minutes, Benficas first goal attempt resulted in the 0-1: free-kick Grimaldo, Onana was completely wrong and Darwin scored. The uninteresting game after half time became even less spectacular, with more quarrels and offenses than football. But Ajax couldnt escape from the web anymore.
Goal Benfica! The first real chance for Benfica is a goal. Darwin Nunez heads the ball past the outgoing André Onana. Now Ajax has to do something! #UCL #AJABEN pic.twitter.com/KDZ9BYNCrg
— VTBL ⚽ (@vtbl) March 15, 2022