The clash between Benfica and Ajax Amsterdam ended in a 2-2 draw in the round of 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday.
The second leg will take place on March 15 at the Johan Cruyff Stadium in Amsterdam.
Benfica and Ajax played an open and entertaining game in which the Dutch hosts advanced twice, but the home team did not give up and maintained the door open for a quarter-final appearance for the first time since the 2015-2016 season, especially with the elimination of the away goals advantage rule.
After a promising start for Benfica, who threatened in the third minute with a header by Belgian Jan Vertonghen, who was facing his youth team, but Remko Pasveer came to the rescue (3). Ajax entered the game and immediately began attacking, scoring in the 18th minute after capitalizing on a defensive blunder to begin a rapid attack that finished with a cross from Brazilian Anthony to Serbian Dusan Tadic, who followed it directly into the net of Greek goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos.
Following a goal that accidentally converted Vertonghen’s cross into his keeper’s net Pasveer (26), Haller quickly scored for Ajax’s, and his eleventh goal in the competition this season, after following a ball that he initially shot at goalkeeper Vlachodimos following a pass from Steven Berghuis, then returned it into the Portuguese net (29).
Haller had a golden opportunity to score his second for the team just before half-time after the ball fell in front of him after a rebound from the left post of fellow Mexican Edson Alvarez, but he knocked the ball over the side of the post (44).
After missing a lot of opportunities in the second half, Benfica came back to the match in the 72nd minute when a powerful ball from Gonzalo Ramos was blocked by goalkeeper Pasveer but found the way of the attacking substitute Yaremchuk, who followed with a header in the net (72).