Benfica stun Ajax to advance to Champions League last eight

Nunez header enough for Portuguese after first-leg draw

Benfica's Darwin Nunez celebrates with teammates after scoring the winner against Ajax at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam. AP
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Darwin Nunez scored late on as Benfica defeated Ajax 1-0 to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in six years and end the Dutch team's great run in the European competition.

Nunez found the net with a 77th-minute header off a free kick from the right side to help Benfica make it to the last eight for the fifth time after their 2-2 draw in the first leg in Portugal.

Ajax were one of three teams that won all six group-stage matches, along with Liverpool and Bayern, and had already equalled their most prolific Champions League campaign with 22 goals.

But they struggled to make use of their chances in Amsterdam after striker Sebastien Haller, the first player to score in his opening seven Champions League games and the quickest to reach 11 goals in the competition's history, had a goal disallowed for offside early in the game.

The win extended Benfica’s unbeaten run in all competitions to eight games.

Updated: March 15, 2022, 10:25 PM