Watch all the key plays as Ajax hosts Juventus in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals.
Thanks to a wonderful goal from David Neres–a response to Cristiano Ronaldo's opener–Ajax tied 1-1 against Juventus in Amsterdam on Wednesday as both sides fought hard in an entertaining, physical first leg quarterfinal.
Juventus, welcoming back Ronaldo from injury, started brightly, with Federico Bernardeschi taking an ambitous shot that went over Andre Onana's goal in the first few minutes. In fact, the visiting team looked composed as Ajax struggled to keep the ball in the early stages. But the home side warmed up, and after five minutes, it had a chance of its own as Hakim Ziyech also attempted a shot from outside the box, going just wide.
Ziyech looked lively in the first half as the Morocco international took another shot after 11 minutes, but it was no real danger for the goalkeeper. But there was no doubt he was in the mood to attack as moments later he threatened Juve's goal and this time it required a great save from Wojciech Szczęsny.
Despite the goalless score, Ajax kept growing in confidence and the chances kept coming. This time it was Donny van de Beek who shot from inside the box but his shot went wide.
But Max Allegri's side also pushed as Ronaldo held a cross inside the box and laid it to Bernardeschi, but the attacker couldn't put it on target.
But moments before the break, Ronaldo made Ajax rue all those chances missed as his surging run into the box and header was too much for Onana and just like that, Juve led 1-0 after 45 minutes.
But in the second half, Ajax came with aggression and might and seconds into the second half, David Neres scored a stunning equalizer.
As the second half progressed, tired legs meant both sides were leaving themselves more vulnerable at the back meaning more opportunities at either end. At the hourmark, Allegri opted for Douglas Costa to replace Mario Mandzukic to eploit the wings and leaving Ronaldo in a more central role.
By the 70th minute, the Serie A side was in full defensive and counter attacking mode as the home side pushed, looking for a precious second goal. But Juve stayed organized when not in possession.
In the 81s minute, however, Ajax's excellent play should have made it 2-1 from a shot inside the box but it went straight at the keeper. Moments later, Juventus hit the post after a great run and shot from Costa from the left wing.
As they reached stoppage time, chances kept coming but in the end, both defenses did all they could to ensure it remained 1-1.
Here were the lineups for both sides:
The series shifts to Turin for next week's second leg, with Juventus hosting Ajax on Tuesday, April 16. The winner will face either Tottenham or Manchester City in the semifinals.