Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Pizzi and Jardel rue Benfica´s Ajax reverse

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 23 Oct 2018


Pizzi felt the injury-time heartache suffered by Benfica at Ajax was an unfair reflection on their Champions League efforts in Amsterdam.

The sides looked set to end a pulsating encounter with the deadlock intact but Ajax right-back Noussair Mazraoui had other ideas, lashing a deflected drive past the helpless Odisseas Vlachodimos in stoppage time.

Ajax are now level with Bayern Munich at the top of Group E, with Benfica four points shy of the qualification places – making the return clash in Portugal in two weeks’ time a vital one for Rui Vitoria’s men.

“I think it was an unfair result, conceding a goal in the last play of the game,” experienced midfielder Pizzi said, as quoted by

“We started well, balanced, knowing what we want, facing a very hard opponent, who likes to have the ball. We had chances but unfortunately we didn’t score.”

Benfica captain Jardel sounded a similarly crestfallen tone.

“One goal at the end left us very sad, after all we’ve done,” he said.

“I think we played a great match. We had our chances, unfortunately we didn’t score.

“Next we’ll play them at home and we’ll work to play another great game and look for the win in Lisbon.”

Jardel added: “It was a balanced match. Unfortunately, we conceded in the last minute. If we stay working like this and focused in our goals, we may go through.”

Mazraoui was Ajax’s hero for the second Champions League game in a row, having netted in a draw away to Bayern Munich.

“When you score in the 92nd minute, in the expectation that it’s probably going to end 0-0, then the whole stadium explodes with joy. That’s exactly how we felt too,” the defender told reporters.

“I have no explanation of why I’ve scored two goals of such importance. But I’d have been equally as happy if Hakim [Ziyech] or Dusan [Tadic] or one of the other forwards had got the goals instead of me.

“Even though it was goalless towards the end of the game I still wanted to get forward. That shows the way we like to play; with attacking full-backs. So maybe it’s not surprising that both myself and Nicolas [Tagliafico] have each scored twice in the Champions League so far.”


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