David Neres’ Ridiculous Solo Goal Cancels Out Ronaldo’s Beautiful Diving Header

Ajax and Juventus played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday in Amsterdam.

Juventus had no excuse not to be prepared. After what Ajax did to Real Madrid (not to mention Bayern Munich in the group stage), the Bianconeri knew they were in for a fight against the Dutch side. 

After one leg in the Champions League quarterfinals, it’s all even heading back to the Allianz Stadium in Turin. 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brilliant diving header just before the halftime whistle only to have David Neres score moments into the second half in a 1-1 draw on Tuesday at the Amsterdam Arena. 

Ajax, which beat Real Madrid 4-1 in the second leg to overturn a 2-1 defeat to start the Round of 16, put on another sparkling display of attacking intent. However, the home side was held to just the one goal, giving Juventus a slight advantage (via the away goal) heading into the second leg. 

Led by Hakim Ziyech, Dusan Tadic and Neres, Ajax poured forward at every opportunity, putting a Juventus defense playing without captain Giorgio Chiellini on the ropes throughout. 

Ajax vs Juventus Highlights First Leg

Wojcech Szczesny was forced into a magnificent save early on, lest the home side would have taken the lead in the first half. 

Both teams came close in the opening 45 minutes, but it was Ronaldo who opened the scoring just before the halftime whistle. 

Ronaldo was mostly limited in the first half; the second time he touched the ball came in the ninth minute as he tracked back into his defensive third. 

But late in the first half, the Portuguese played the ball off to right back João Cancelo and sprinted into the box. For some reason, Ajax didn’t track his run and Cancelo’s return pass found Ronaldo wide open for a beautiful diving header.

But moments into the second half, Ajax was level through Brazilian David Neres.

Neres scored again five minutes later, but he was clearly offside.

Both teams — Ajax in particular — pushed hard for a winner, but it wasn’t coming. 

The closest Ajax came was when Jurgen Ekkelenkamp was set up by Ziyech but had his effort parried away by Szczesny. 

Douglas Costa came closest for Juventus when he struck the post with a vicious drive moments later. 

That was so close to being the goal of the year.

Embed from Getty Images

The return leg in Italy will be Tuesday. 

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