Ajax captain Joel Veltman spoke to the NOS after the 2-2 draw at home to Nice which saw the Amsterdam side eliminated from the Champions League on away goals. 

  • By James Rowe
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Ajax dominated most of the second leg on Wednesday and led 2-1 until the 80th minute when Marcel netted an equaliser for the French side, which saw them progress.

Afterwards, Joel Veltman said ”Two moments tonight have cost us a place in the Champions League. Nice were dangerous a few times on the counter attack and we were not in a position to stop them.

”If you play for Ajax or any another club you know that no two seasons are the same even though we reached the final of the Europa League last season. A lot has gone on at Ajax during the summer but things must improve.

”Before the game we were focused. We knew that there would be a big banner to honour Appie Nouri but such a tribute can only serve to motivate us.

”Our goal was to reach the Champions League and we can forget that know. We are now faced with a Europa League play-off.

Asked whether he felt it was impossible for a Dutch side to qualify for the Champions league through the qualifiying rounds, Veltman responded, ”It is not impossible for a Dutch club to qualify for the Champions League through the qualifying rounds. But the small details are decisive at this level. It cannot be a coincidence anymore it is a shame. We want to obtain coefficient points for Dutch football in Europe but this season we can only to that in the Europa League ”.

James Rowe (696 Posts)