AJ Auxerre 2 – Ajax Amsterdam 1


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AJ Auxerre’s 29-year-old club captain and midfielder BENOIT PEDRETTI (17), who has earned 22 caps for France in his career, competes with Ajax Amsterdam’s Holland international defender VURNON ANITA at the Stade de l’Abbe Deschamps in the world-famous wine-making region of Burgundy. (Michel Euler/AP)
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UEFA Champions League
Group Stage
11/3/2010

2 – AJ Auxerre (FRA) ——————— Sammaritano 9′, Langil 84′
1 – Ajax Amsterdam (HOL) ———— Alderweireld 79′

A late goal from substitute on a quick restart with roughly six minutes remaining carried French Ligue 1 club AJ AUXERRE to a surprising 2-1 victory over visiting Dutch side AJAX AMSTERDAM in Group G of the UEFA Champions League.

24-year-old midfielder FREDERIC SAMMARITANO, an off-season acquisition from second division side OC Vannes, set AJ Auxerre off to a fast start. A long ball by Poland international defender DARIUSZ DUDKA was chested down at the edge of the area by midfielder JULIEN QUERICA in the ninth minute. Sammaritano ran onto it and smashed a shot that deflected off Ajax Amsterdam’s Belgium international defender JAN VERTONGHEN on the way into the lower right hand corner of the net.

Ajax Amsterdam had far more of the possession on the evening and were unlucky when club captain and Uruguay World Cup striker LUIS SUAREZ, who has seven goals in ten Eredivisie games and another four goals in seven European matches for de Godenzonen this season, hit the crossbar in the second half.

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AJ Auxerre’s 22-year-old substitute midfielder STEEVEN LANGIL, who spent all of last season out on loan at SM Caen, stumbles as Holland World Cup goalkeeper MAARTEN STEKELENBURG of Ajax Amsterdam makes the save at the Stade de l’Abbe Deschamps. (Laurent Cipriani/AP)
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After wasting plenty of chances, Ajax Amsterdam finally pulled even in the 79th minute when Belgium international defender TOBY ALDERWEIRELD headed home the curling left wing cross of Suarez from just outside the six-yard box.

The respite was brief, however, for the visiting Dutch side. After being fouled following some fancy footwork along the right flank, AJ Auxerre’s Morocco international midfielder KAMEL CHAFNI took a quick free kick and sent fellow second half substitute STEEVEN LANGIL in on goal one-on-one with Holland World Cup goalkeeper MAARTEN STEKELENBURG of Ajax Amsterdam. The 22-year-old midfielder made no mistake to provide AJ Auxerre with its first three points at the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.

Ajax Amsterdam, meanwhile, waste a tremendous opportunity to advance in the Group G standings and fall to third place on four points behind Spanish side Real Madrid and Italian club AC Milan, who have ten and five points, repsectively.

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Uruguay World Cup striker LUIS SUAREZ, wearing the captain’s armband for Ajax Amsterdam, has an attempt at goal as AJ Auxerre’s 31-year-old Switzerland World Cup defender STEPHANE GRICHTING is unsuccessful with his effort to block such at the Stade de l’Abbe Dechamps. (Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images)
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AJ AUXERRE : Sorin ; Dudka, Coulibaly, Grichting, Hengbart ; Ndinga, Birsa, Pedretti, Sammaritano (Berthod 86′), Querica (Langil 63′) ; Contout (Chafni 80′)

AJAX AMSTERDAM : Stekelenburg ; van der Wiel, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Enoh (de Jong 46′) ; Emanuelson, de Zeeuw (Eriksen 83′), Lindgren, Anita (Sulejmani 58′) ; El Hamdaoui, Suarez

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AJ Auxerre goalkeeper OLIVIER SORIN easily snares the high ball ahead of Ajax Amsterdam’s 21-year-old Holland international midfielder SIEM DE JONG at the Stade de l’Abbe Deschamps. (Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images)
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AJ Auxerre midfielder STEEVEN LANGIL (21) celebrates his stunning game-winning goal from a quick restart in the 84th minute against visiting Ajax Amsterdam at the Stade de l’Abbe Deschamps in the world-famous French wine-making region of Burgundy. (Laurent Cipriani/AP)
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MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

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