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2016/17 UEFA Europa League, 2016/17 Group Stage
  • Kasper Dolberg (41')
  • Hakim Ziyech (67')
  • Amin Younes (71')
  • John Guidetti (79')
  • Iago Aspas (86')

Ajax advance in Europa League with win over Celta Vigo

Ajax secured their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League with a 3-2 win over Celta Vigo in Amsterdam.

The Group G leaders went ahead just before the break with a well-taken finish from Danish teenager Kasper Dolberg and were coasting after further goals from Hakim Ziyech and Amin Younes in the space of four second-half minutes.

However, Peter Bosz's side were pegged back when substitute John Guidetti reduced the deficit moments after coming on, with fellow replacement Iago Aspas setting up a nervy final few minutes at the Amsterdam ArenA.

Ajax had failed to progress through to the group stages of the Champions League, but have slowly built some momentum after a run of nine wins and two draws, including the counterpart fixture in Vigo last month which ended 2-2.

However, it was the visitors who almost went ahead on 16 minutes when Theo Bongonda shot wide after capitalising on some wayward Ajax defending.

Slowly, though, the Dutch side built up momentum as Dolberg saw his shot tipped over by Vigo keeper Blanco Ruben.

Ziyech then created an opening on 37 minutes when he cut inside after a powerful run and just failed to curl his shot into the far corner.

Ajax eventually went ahead five minutes before the break.

After Celta failed to clear their lines from a throw-in, Bertrand Traore broke down the right before clipping the ball square to Dolberg.

The young Danish forward knocked the ball inside Sergi Gomez with his first touch, before using his second to fire a low angled strike past Blanco at the near post.

Ajax continued their pressure following the restart, with a free kick from Lasse Schone going just too high.

Defender Joel Veltman saw his long-range effort tipped over by Blanco.

Ziyech put Ajax 2-0 ahead on 67 minutes when Traore was again the provider, breaking into the right side of the penalty area before sending a low pass across the face of goal which was knocked in at the far post.

The hosts soon made it three when, in the 71st minute, Younes carried the ball forwards down the left channel before cutting inside back across the edge of the penalty area and drilling a low shot into the far corner.

Vigo substitute Guidetti netted with 10 minutes to go, having just come on, when he was played into the left side of the Ajax penalty area and clipped the ball past Andre Onana at the near post.

The Spaniards then set up an anxious final few minutes when substitute Aspas latched onto a stray pass and ran forwards to drill the ball in from 18 yards, but Ajax closed out victory as Onana saved Bongonda's goalbound effort.