A last minute header from Fenerbahce striker Fernandao condemned Ajax to their first Europa League group stage defeat of the season.

aja fenerbThe Brazilian forward, who came on for Dutchman Robin van Persie, broke the deadlock with a late header to stun Ajax, who kept the Turkish side at bay for most of the tie.

In the first half Ajax defended well in Istanbul with Joel Veltman marshaling the back four excellently, and when Fenerbahce did get chances they found Jasper Cillessen in their way. The Dutch number one denied both Luka Markovic and Robin van Persie in quick succession, while Jairo Riedewald also made an excellent block.

At the other end Ajax struggled to click up front with Anwar El Ghazi and Lasse Schone trading places in the striker role, and the Amsterdam side were limited to shots from distance, which barely troubled Fabiano in the Turks goal.

Lasse Schone came to Ajax’s rescue in the second half as he headed Souza’s effort off the line, and it seemed the Dutch side were going to hold on for their third draw, but then Fernandao appeared from the bench to head in a late corner.

Ajax now remain on two points, joint with Celtic who lost 3-1 away to Molde in the group’s other game.

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