- Donny van de Beek and Matthijs de Ligt, two of Ajax’s youngest but brightest talents, just engineered an unlikely victory over Juventus.
- Cristiano Ronaldo got on the scoresheet early on, but he has been dumped out of the UEFA Champions League by a European upstart.
- Ajax defeated Juventus 2-1 on Tuesday, 3-2 on aggregate, and now progresses to the semi-final stage of the tournament.
- Read more of Business Insider’s coverage for the 2018-2019 soccer season right here.
- Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus team just got dumped out of the UEFA Champions League by Ajax, a European upstart wrecking its way through the continent’s biggest soccer tournament.
Ronaldo, a five-time Champions League winner, struggled to exert his traditional dominance in the early stages of the competition after swapping Real Madrid for Juve in a $US130 million deal last summer.
The striker got sent off in his first Champions League outing for the Italians in September, scored just one goal in the group stages, and only really got going in the second leg of the Round of 16 match against Atletico Madrid, when he scored a hat-trick to pull Juventus back from the brink of defeat last month.
The 34-year-old scored in the first leg of his team’s quarter-final in the Netherlands last week, ensuring Juventus returned to Italy with an away goal advantage.
And even though he netted once again, an incredible and seemingly unstoppable bullet header in the 28th minute of the second leg in Turin on Tuesday, he watched powerless as the Dutch team, a side filled with cool and calm kids, came back into the match and upset the experienced Italians.
Watch Ronaldo’s bullet header here:
Or here if you are in a different region:
Ronaldo strikes in Turin. Who else?!
A reminder that Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 5️⃣1️⃣% of his Champions League goals in the knockout stages. pic.twitter.com/AkTvmIaCg2
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 16, 2019
Tuesday’s comeback in Turin began just six minutes after Ronaldo’s opener, when the 21-year-old attacking midfielder Donny van de Beek equalised from mid-range, capitalising on confusion around the penalty spot and shooting into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
The 19-year-old center back Matthijs de Ligt then struck the killer blow in the 67th minute when he scored with a header that would have made Ronaldo himself proud, nodding the ball beyond the reaches of the Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, with a move that sent the visiting fans into raptures as it effectively won Ajax the match.
Watch the winning goal right here:
Ajax’s 2-1 lead in Italy meant Juventus would have had to score two goals without conceding, to win. This is because of the away goal ruling, which grants greater power to goals struck on the road.
But Ajax never really lost control of the game, and cruised toward the final whistle with a 3-2 aggregate victory. Ajax, unnerved, went into its opponent’s own ground and left with the win, just it did against Real Madrid, when it beat the reigning European champions 4-1 in Spain last month.
Ronaldo, and Juventus, got eliminated while Ajax moves into the two-legged semi-final on April 30 and May 7 with a clear reputation as the tournament’s giant-killer.
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