Tagliafico scores brace in Ajax's 3-0 win over AEK Athens
Amsterdam (Netherlands) : Nicolas Tagliafico scored two goals to lead Ajax to a 3-0 home victory over AEK Athens in Group E action in the Champions League, Europe's premier club football competition.
The score on Wednesday night was an accurate reflection of the action on the field at Johan Cruyff Stadium, with AEK doing its utmost to keep Ajax in check in the first half but falling by the wayside after Tagliafico opened the scoring just after the intermission.
The hosts were in attack mode from the outset, using quick passing in midfield and seeking out combinations that - particularly in the second half - led them to AEK's penalty box, reports Efe news.
The visitors, meanwhile, looked for Ezequiel Ponce to lead them on the counter-attack when Ajax's defensive line crept too far forward, but the Argentine forward was mostly unaccompanied on the opposing team's side of the field and unable to convert any opportunities.
Ajax's first goal came when Tagliafico took advantage of a failed off-side trap and volleyed home a pass into the area from David Neres in the 46th minute.
The home side then got a further lift when Donny van de Beek came on as a substitute for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar at the one-hour mark and scored 15 minutes later by volleying home a pass from Serbian midfielder Dusan Tadic.
With the game already decided and time winding down, Tagliafico scored on the full run from the left edge of the penalty box on a long-range, dipping shot over the outstretched arms of AEK goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas.
Ajax is currently in first place in Group E with three points. AEK, which is back in the Champions League group stage for the first time in 12 years, is in the last place with zero points.