Dutch giant Ajax are set to play Schalke in the next Europa League rounds.
The Amsterdam-based outfit saw off FC Copenhagen en route this stage. It seems the Dutch side – used to be a European powerhouse – are reclaiming their lost spot as this is the first time since 2003 that they have reached this stage.
The club would line-up against one of their best stars in Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Huntelaar netted over a century of goals during his time at the Dutch side. Ajax would hope the players who would be on international duty would return in one piece ahead of the clash in mid-April.
Ajax showed strength of character when they upturned the deficit in the last round against the Danish giants. The club retains the hope of a double this term under manager Peter Bosz. The result sets the tone for the forthcoming match against Eredivisie leaders Feyenoord.
The first leg ended in a defeat but a 2-0 win ensured they went through with a 3-2 aggregate – enough for a quarter finals slot. The hosts were fired up from the start of the game. They started as early as the second minute.
They kept on with the attacks and they were rewarded in the 23rd minute through Bertrand Traore. The Chelsea loanee connected with the ball after the visitor’s goalkeeper Robin Olsen parried the ball.
Ajax got another before the first half ended. Hakim Ziyech wanted to get a goal but he was fouled by Okore. Kasper Dolberg took the kick and converted it.
After the break, Ajac kept the pressure but the scoreline did not change. Copenhagen were deeply disappointing for a side who only suffered their second defeats season-wide. They are 12-points clear in the Danish League and they were tipped to see off the Dutch side particularly after the results in the first leg but they failed to live up to expectations.