Ajax See Off Lyon To Reach Europa League Final

Lyon, May 12 (IANS) Ajax overcame Lyon 5-4 in aggregate in the semi-finals of the Europa League as the hosts threatened the Dutch football giants with a 3-1 win in the second leg here.

Having lost the first leg 1-4 last week, French club Lyon on Thursday had no other option than attacking from the first minute, only to see their fragile defence broken down by their Dutch opponents in the 27th minute, when Kasper Dolberg beat Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes with a tricky shot. Lyon defender Rafael failed to clear the ball before the goal line, reports Xinhua news agency.

Resilient Lyon made a strong comeback late in the first half with their top scorer Alexandre Lacazette’s two goals in less than two minutes.

The hosts continued their attacking play in the second half. After Ajax player Donny van de Beek hit the crossbar, two substitutes managed to cut the deficit in aggregate to one goal for Lyon with nine minutes remaining, as Rachid Ghezzal headed Maciej Rybus’ left-wing cross into the net.

Ajax defender Nick Viergever was sent off after receiving his second yellow card in the 84th minute. Four minutes later, Lyon wasted their best chance to level the score, as Maxwel Cornet saw his shot off the post.

Following the win, four-time European champions Ajax will meet Manchester United in the May 24 final in Stockholm. The winner will secure a berth in the 2017-2018 Champions League group stage.