Ajax 1-2 Roma: Ibanez grabs stunning late winner for Italians

Ajax 1-2 Roma: Roger Ibanez grabs stunning late winner for the Italians… who hold the advantage in Europa League quarter-final after coming from a goal down to win in Amsterdam

  • Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen opened the scoring cooly in the 39th minute 
  • Dusan Tadic then missed a penalty just after half-time in a huge turning point  
  • Roma struck back 12 minutes after the interval through Lorenzo Pellegrini
  • Roger Ibanez nicked a late winner for the visitors who have two vital away goals   
  • The winner of this tie will play either Manchester Utd or Granada in the semis  

Roger Ibanez crashed home a spectacular volley two minutes from time to give AS Roma a come-from-behind 2-1 away win over Ajax Amsterdam in their Europa League quarter-final first leg on Thursday.

A missed penalty and a horror goalkeeping slip cost Ajax dearly as they lost a halftime lead and now face a tough task in next Thursday’s return leg in Rome.

Ajax went ahead from Davy Klaassen’s goal six minutes before halftime and should have doubled the lead soon after the break but Dusan Tadic’s penalty was saved. 

Roger Ibanez (R) celebrates his late winner for Roma against Ajax in the Europa League 

Lorenzo Pellegrini scored the first away goal for Roma against Ajax on Thursday evening 

Pellegrini celebrates with his team-mates after his equaliser in the 57th minute in Amsterdam 

Dusan Tadic missed a penalty just after half-time in what proved to be a massive turning point 

Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen had opened the scoring with a calm finish just before half-time

The Dutchman is mobbed by his team-mates after the opening goal of the quarter-final clash 

Ajax: Scherpen, Rensch (Klaiber 78), Timber, Martinez, Tagliafico, Klaassen, Alvarez, Gravenberch, Antony (Idrissi 88), Tadic, Neres (Brobbey 64)

Subs not used: Ekkelenkamp, Kudus, Traore, Taylor, Kotarski, Kasanwirjo, Timber, Reiziger

Goals: Klaassen 39 

Booked: Rensch, Martinez

Roma: Lopez, Mancini, Cristante, Ibanez, Peres, Diawara, Veretout (Villar 77), Spinazzola (Calafiori 29), Pellegrini, Pedro (Perez 89), Dzeko (Mayoral 77)

Subs not used: Santon, Ciervo, Milanese, Mirante, Fuzato

Goals: Pellegrini 57, Ibanez 87

Booked: Cristante, Peres, Calafiori  

Lorenzo Pellegrini equalised with a 57th-minute free kick, which slipped through the hands of Ajax’s 21-year-old back-up goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen.

Ibanez secured the last-gasp win as he chested down a poorly cleared corner before slamming the ball home from close range.

Roma showed more early intent as Bryan Cristante’s long- range effort swerved dangerously and produced a full stretch save from Scherpen, deputising for veteran Maarten Stelekenburg who missed out on playing against his old club because of injury.

Cristante shot over crossbar from much closer at the end of an elaborate free kick routine but it was Ajax who broke the deadlock in the 39th minute, from a move that began in their own half.

A series of swift passes put them quickly on the edge of the Roma penalty box and when defender Gianluca Mancini backed off, it allowed Klaassen time to play a one-two with Tadic before sweeping home from close range.

Antony miscued from a similar distance when another Tadic pass presented the young Brazilian forward with an ideal opportunity to double the home team’s lead.

Tadic was bundled over by Ibanez and got up to take the 52nd-minute penalty but hit the ball at comfortable height for Roma goalkeeper Pau Lopez to parry away.

Roma took full advantage of the let-off to equalise five minutes later as Pellegriniâs free kick squirmed out of Scherpen’s grasp for a soft goal.

Lopez made another excellent stop to deny substitute Brian Brobbey in the 69th minute and tipped Antony’s volleyed effort over the top before Ibanez’s late heroics put the Serie A side in control of the tie. 

It’s advantage Roma with the two away goals ahead of the second-leg in Italy next week  

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