Ajax face an uphill battle to reach the Champions League group stages after being held to a 1-1 draw by Russian side Rostov in the Amsterdam Arena.

casierra aja ffPeter Bosz’s side started the game well and through Davy Klaassen they had a great chance to score early on but the midfielder could only head Anwar El Ghazi’s cross straight at the goalkeeper.

With their first attack, Rostov took the lead and once again this season Jasper Cillessen was at fault. The Russian’s were awarded a free kick 25 metres from goal and Christian Noboa fired through the wall and into the bottom corner. Jasper Cillessen was covering the side that Noboa aimed at, but decided to take two steps to the right when the strike was taken and couldn’t get back in time to stop the ball nestling in the corner.

Ajax pushed for an equaliser but Amin Younes fired an excellent chance after being found at the back post by El Ghazi, while Bertrand Traore, starting his first match up front, was also close to finding the net with a clever effort. On 38 minutes Ajax were gifted the chance to equalise from the penalty spot when César Navas handled Riechedly Bazoer’s shot. Klaassen made no mistake from the spot to draw the hosts level.

Ajax completely dominated possession in the second half and the chances came to win the match. Traore headed a chance wide, while Nemanja Gudelj saw a long range effort well saved by the Russian keeper. Kasper Dolberg and Mateo Cassierra appeared from the bench but the youngsters couldn’t make the difference and Rostov held on for a precious draw.

Ajax now head to Russia next week needing to score to keep their Champions League hopes alive.

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