Ajax close in on qualifying with draw at Lyon

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Old 24-Nov-2011
Ajax close in on qualifying with draw at Lyon

Lyon: Ajax are on the verge of qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League after grinding out a 0-0 draw at Lyon on Tuesday, while the French club's hopes are all but over after failing to take their chances.

Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer made a stunning one-handed save to deny substitute Alexandre Lacazette in the last minute, but Ajax had the better chances until Lyon rallied in a frantic last 10 minutes.

"I am proud of my players. Lyon have qualified for the next stage on a number of occasions so getting a draw was a good achievement," Ajax coach Frank de Boer said. "This is the level I want us to play at all the time."

De Boer had special praise for defender Jan Vertonghen and said Vermeer "kept us in the game late on". However, the former Netherlands defender lamented the fact that Ajax "certainly should have scored one at the other end".

Lyon coach Remi Garde, meanwhile, rued his stuttering attack.

"The results don't lie. We didn't concede a goal tonight, but we couldn't score against a good Ajax team and didn't manage to score over there, either," he said. "Of course the two matches against Real Madrid were very tough and the goal difference will now pose a problem for us."

Lyon has scored only twice in the last four games and playmaker Yoann Gourcuff, who cost 22 million (Dh126.36 million) when he signed from Bordeaux early last season, was again virtually anonymous.

Old 24-Nov-2011
Saini Sa'aB
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