LAjax Amsterdam moved
to the brink of qualifying for the Champions League knockout
stages after a 0-0 draw at Olympique Lyon on Tuesday.
Both sides wasted good chances to earn victory with Lyon
going close late on when Yoann Gourcuff's shot shaved the post.
Ajax are second in Group D on eight points, three ahead of
the French side going into the final round of matches. They have
an identical head to head record but the Dutch side have a far
superior goal difference.
Former European champions Ajax need only one point at home
against group winners Real Madrid to reach the last 16, while
Lyon will look for a huge win at Dinamo Zagreb and hope Ajax
"We were up against a good Ajax side, and it cost us a lot
of energy just to dispossess them," Lyon coach Remi Garde told
French TV channel TF1.
"We lacked sharpness in front of goal.
"I still believe we can go through but it will obviously be
The home side face the prospect of not making it through the
group stage for the first time since the 2002/03 season.
Lyon began brightly with returning forward Lisandro Lopez,
making his first start in 12 weeks after an injury layoff,
having his curling shot parried away by Kenneth Vermeer in the
Lyon could not build on their good start and Ajax midfielder
Christian Eriksen was a constant threat although the visitors
failed to create clear-cut chances in a dull first half.
Ajax looked sharper after the re-start and it took a timely
save by Hugo Lloris to deny Miralem Sulejmani after he had been
fed a through ball by Eriksen.
Sulejmani's deflected shot on the hour just cleared the
crossbar before Lyon got going again after Brazilian midfielder
Ederson replaced Lisandro with 20 minutes left.
Ederson had a volley blocked by Vermeer as Lyon desperately
pushed for the winner, and the seven-time French champions went
close again when Michel Bastos's angled shot was tipped away by
the Ajax keeper.
Lyon had penalty claims turned down with two minutes left
when Ederson appeared to be brought down and then Gourcuff's
shot shaved Vermeer's left post.
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