Ajax strike late to beat Lille in Europa League

Ajax skipper Dusan Tadic scored his side's equaliser in the first leg of their last-32 Europa League tie against Lille.
Ajax skipper Dusan Tadic scored his side's equaliser in the first leg of their last-32 Europa League tie against Lille. REUTERS - PASCAL ROSSIGNOL

Dusan Tadic and Brian Brobbey struck two goals in three minutes as Ajax came from behind to beat Lille 2-1 in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 clash.


Lille took the lead at the Stade Pierre Mauroy against the run of play in the 72nd minute.

Nicolas Tagliafico passed back to goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg unaware of Timothy Weah lurking at the edge of the area.

The 20-year-old pounced and threaded the ball through Stekelenburg's legs for a surprise lead.

However, the tie turned in the 87th minute. Renato Sanches was adjudged to have fouled Tagliafico as he lunged for a loose ball in the penalty area.


Referee Ivan Kruzliak pointed to the penalty spot but after Lille protests checked with the video assistant referee.

The cameras confirmed his original decision and Tadic sent Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan the wrong way with his kick.

Before the hosts recovered their composure, a slick flick from Davy Klaassen sent Brobbey through. His shot squirmed under Maignan's attempted block and trickled over the line.

"I thought the penalty was harsh," Lille boss Christophe Galtier told French broadcaster RMC.

"But after it was given we should have remained  focused on the match. But we lost our concentration and that's disappointing.

"Even at 2-1 down we were far too open and that's a shame especially since we know that the tie is decided over two legs."

Lille return to Ligue 1 action on Sunday afternoon at Lorient before the last-32 second leg in Amsterdam next Thursday.

"At half-time I felt we were in trouble," Weah told RMC. "They were keeping the ball really well before I scored. We really shouldn't have let in those goals but now the only thing we can do is go to Amsterdam and win."

Elsewhere in first leg games, Bruno Fernandes bagged a brace as Manchester United thrashed Real Sociedad 4-0.

Gareth Bale scored one and set up another goal in Tottenham Hotspur's 4-1 victory at Wolfsberger AC and Rangers came from behind twice to edge a seven goal thriller at Royal Antwerp.




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