Jan Hoeksema

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The Ajax Women failed to get themselves a good starting position in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Tuesday evening. In the Johan Cruijff ArenA, the Amsterdam team managed to make few mistakes against Chelsea: 0-3. The return in London takes place on Wednesday, March 27.

Ajax had to do without Sherida Spitse in the first match against Chelsea. The captain was suspended and was replaced by Daliyah de Kloria. Due to Spitse's absence, Nadine Noordam wore the band. Isa Kardinaal also came into the team for the injured Ashleigh Weerden.

Already in the seventh minute, Ajax came close to a surprising lead. Romée Leuchter tried from the edge of the penalty area and saw her effort hit the post.

Chelsea struck in minute nineteen. Lauren James fortunately received the ball close to Regina van Eijk's goal, rounded the goalkeeper and scored: 0-1. A VAR check could not prevent Ajax from falling behind.

Five minutes before half-time, Chelsea seemed to double the margin. After a nice cross, it was Gure Reiten who finished for the Londoners, but after interference from the video referee, the goal was disallowed for offside.

A few moments later Chelsea scored again. Reiten, the scorer of the disallowed goal, passed to Sjoeke Nüsken just before half time. The German attacker slid in expertly: 0-2. Through Tiny Hoekstra and Lily Yohannes, the Amsterdam team became dangerous before half time, but Ajax did not score.

In the second half Ajax had somewhat more control over the game. Chelsea, with the lead in mind, apparently calmed down and allowed Suzanne Bakker's team to have a lot of the ball. Nevertheless, the first big chance after the break was for the away team, but Nüsken's attempt ended up over Van Eijk's goal.

In the last quarter of the match, Chelsea regained more control over Ajax and the English scored a few pinpricks. In minute 83 the Londoners dealt the final blow. Nüsken signed for her second of the evening, assisted by Catarina Macario: 0-3.

With an away match in London looming, it will be a difficult task for Ajax to qualify for the semi-finals of the Champions League. Both teams will meet again next Wednesday at 9:00 PM.

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