Ronaldo Hits a Milestone as Juventus Knot Ajax
A feisty side faced superior talent in this Champions League quarter-final match in Amsterdam where a 1-1 result wound up proving little more than that bare fact.
The lunch-bucket chemistry that is Ajax this season did well to hold Juventus in virtually total check. The Zebras managed a mere one shot on goal the entire match.
However, it came from Cristiano Ronaldo, who thrives in this competition.
So, of course, it found nylon.
It's also a crucial away goal that makes a draw not a draw in two-leg competitions.
Juve's cruising in Serie A, 20 points distant from second-place Napoli, but you wouldn't know it by their so-so performances in the Champions League. Yes, they've gotten this far, but like the Virginia Cavaliers in the USA's NCAA Basketball Tournament, people can say what they want, but dudes are still where they are.
De Godenzonen -- Sons of Gods, which is how Ajax needs to play in European ties -- turned the screws to the Italian giants from the kickoff onward. Their cohesive efforts forced numerous Zebra mistakes, and on attack, David Neres and Hakim Ziyech were clearly the most dangerous players on the pitch.
But that and €16 will get you a smoked eel for dinner.
However, as they say, all it takes is one letdown.
On the verge of halftime, Ronaldo and João Cancelo showed a bitta true Portuguese sauce. Cancelo took possession and saw Ronaldo's infiltration of Ajax's defense. As he's now done for an incredible 125th time in Champions League play, dude made it count, denying André Onana any chance at a save and and celebrating with a traditional Suuuuu:
Ajax then did what godly sons are supposed to do and quickly leveled right after the break.
Within 30 seconds outta the dressing room, Neres robbed Cancelo, got inside the area, and curled home past Wojciech Szczesny:
A couple of close calls followed:
- Ajax almost scored a second time through Neres, but the Brazilian was offside, and
- Juve substitute Douglas Costa rattled the post in a counter-attack.
Putting it mildly, then, those Sons of Gods have gotta do immortal things in Turin.