Ronaldo Gives Juve The Edge Over Ajax
By Joshua Walters
Ajax dominated possession, but could not fetch a win as Juventus secured a vital 1-1 away draw in the Champions League quarter-final clash on Wednesday.
The result is good for Juventus, who will host the Netherlands side in Turin in the second leg next week.
Ajax were brilliant and brave, but reckless as they spurned a lot of chances until they were punished for their wastefulness in the dying embers of the first-half.
Federico Benardeschi unleashed a thunderbolt from the edge of the box, but saw his efforts go wide before Hakim Ziyech forced a great save from Wojciech Szczesny with a goal-bound shot which the Juventus goalkeeper palmed to safety in the 18th minute.
Ajax nearly broke the deadlock in the 25th minute when Donny van de Beek shot narrowly wide the right post, nearly ten minutes before Bernadeschi also shot from inside the penalty area.
Cristiano Ronaldo got the lead for Juventus shortly before half-time by soaring above the Ajax defenders to head home Joao Cancelo's cross from the right side of attack.
The lead could not last beyond a minute after the restart as David Neres levelled up in the 46th minute with a shot into the left post.
Nicolas Tagliafico missed a whisker of the right post in the 49th minute before Neres saw his goal ruled offside two minutes later.
Jurgen Ekkelenkamp receives a priceless pass from Ziyech at the edge of the box as he shot wide of the left post in the 81st minute, and Douglas Costa failed to grab the winner for Juventus five minutes into time as he also failed to hit the target from close-range.