Holland World Cup defender GREGORY VAN DER WIEL (2) watches as another Dutch squad member in South Africa, midfielder DEMY DE ZEEUW (20), runs down Ajax Amsterdam’s striker MOUNIR EL HAMDAOUI (right) following the Morocco international’s goal in the 75th minute against Dynamo Kiev at the Amsterdam Arena. (fc dynamo kyiv photo)
UEFA Champions League
Playoff round, second leg
2 – Ajax Amsterdam (HOL) ——- Suarez 43′, El Hamdaoui 75′
1 – Dynamo Kiev (UKR) ———— Shevchenko pen 84′
AJAX AMSTERDAM survived an early onslaught and a late penalty to defeat DYNAMO KIEV 2-1 in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League playoff and qualify for the Group Stage of the lucrative competition for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
Ajax Amsterdam depended upon Dutch World Cup goalkeeper MAARTEN STEKELENBURG, who was credited with five saves for the match, to be sharp in the first half before Uruguay World Cup striker LUIS SUAREZ was able to break the deadlock in the 43rd minute.
Suarez ran onto the deflected free kick of Belgium international defender JAN VERTONGHEN, rounded Dynamo Kiev goalkeeper MAKSYM KOVAL and netted from a narrow angle for his third tally in the Champions League this summer.
Morocco international striker MOUNIR EL HAMDAOUI claimed a critical second goal for Ajax Amsterdam in the 75th minute; Serbia international attacker MIRALEM SULEJMANI, whose loan move to West Ham United fell apart when England’s Home Office denied a work permit, provided the square ball for the off-season arrival from AZ 67 Alkmaar to chip into the net.
Ukraine international and Dynamo Kiev captain ANDRIY SHEVCHENKO, the one-time AC Milan star striker who scored 122 goals in 226 Serie A games while adding 38 goals in 69 European matches for the Rossoneri, cooly converted an 84th minute spot kick but it was too little, too late.
AJAX AMSTERDAM : Stekelenburg ; van der Wiel, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Enoh ; Emanuelson, de Jong, de Zeeuw, Eriksen (Sulejmani 73) ; Suarez, El Hamdaoui (Ooijer 85′)
DYNAMO KIEV : Koval ; Popov, Khacheridi, Mikhalik ; Yarmolenko, Vukojevic (Andre 88′), Eremenko, Danilo Silva, Gusev (Ninkovic 76′); Shevchenko, Milevsky (Guilherme 86′)