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Moura’s second half hat-trick breaks Ajax’s hearts

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Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt (left) outjumps Tottenham’s Dele Alli to score the opening goal during their UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg match at the Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam… yesterday. PHOTO: AFP.

They were so close to their first UEFA Champions League final since 1996, but a Lucas Moura second half hat-trick ensured that Ajax Amsterdam’s young team could not realize that ambition.

The Dutch side, who accounted for the scalps of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Juventus in the earlier rounds, came into yesterday’s game at the Johann Cruyff Arena with the advantage of an away win in London last week.

They quickly made the mission seemingly impossible for Tottenham with two first half goals that condemned the London side to needing three goals to get their desired final ticket. But they did that in spectacular fashion through that man, Lucas Moura.

Ajax made the perfect start when skipper Matthias De Ligt powered in a header from a corner after outjumping Kieran Trippier.

The home side doubled their lead through Ziyech’s brilliant first-time strike from around 15 yards flew past Hugo Lloris for his 21st goal of the season.

Mauricio Pochettino brought on Fernando Llorente at the break and Tottenham were a completely different side going forward.

Perhaps, Ajax’s decision to sit back in the second half was a poor one as Tottenham seized the initiative with Moura reducing the deficit off a swift counter attack.

He got his second goal when he pounced on a rebound from Onana’s safe off Llorente. The Brazilian then completed his hat-trick six minutes into added time to send Spurs to an all-England final against Liverpool on June 1.


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