Draw at Ajax keeps Canaries 2nd Eagles miss out on Group H lead

After winning the first leg at home, Fenerbahandce was pumped up to win against Ajax on the return UEFA Europa League Group A match in Amsterdam on Thursday, but the match ended in a stalemate, allowing the Dutch team to keep its 100 percent record against Turkish clubs on home soil.
Tiny Norwegian side Molde won 2-1 at Celtic to progress from the group.
Meanwhile, in Group H, Turkey’s other representative Beiiktai lost a lead produced by striker Ricardo Quaresma to draw 1-1 with group leader Lokomotiv Moskva in Istanbul. Albanian side Skenderbeu walloped Sporting Lisbon 3-0 to help keep the group wide open and interesting — if not conducive to the Black Eagle’s aancement. Lokomotive still tops the group with eight points, Beiiktai and Skenderbeu have six apiece and Sporting has four.
Strikes by Mohamed Elyounoussi and Daniel Hestad helped Norwegian side Molde continue to dominate the group with a 2-1 win over Celtic. That result certainly helps Fenerbahandce settle into the runner up position with five points. Molde has 10, Ajax four and Celtic two.
h2 Slow to offenseh2 “The balls we won on the opponent’s half were especially important for us. We got opportunities to finish one, two and at least three points ahead. We were very clearly the better side at Amsterdam Arena. We managed to play this kind of football against such a difficult opponent,” Fenerbahandce’s Portuguese coach Vitor Pereira told reporters after the fact.
Fenerbahandce largely controlled the match, though it could not manage to get the ball past Ajax and Netherlands goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, even when a serious defensive error by Joandeumll Veltman put the ball right out in front of the net early on, even when Fernandao finally came on. The Brazilian usually breathes some new life into the Canary’s offense.
Instead, it was a quiet match for both teams. Ajax was tripped up by a tight Fenerbahandce defense and midfielder. But dual forward injuries did not help the Dutch club. Anwar El Ghazi went off in the first half and Viktor Fischer joined in the second
Fischer had crept in close to the goal line but was easily shut down by Fenerbahandce keeper Volkan Demirel at such a wide angle. Fernandao whiffed a pass redirected his way right at the back post, instead letting it roll out harmlessly.
Hasan Ali Kaldirim put his head on a cross sent in from Volkan ien, but delivered it straight into Cillessen’s hands.
h2 No history, no lossh2 Though Fenerbahandce would have loved to be the first Turkish side to beat Ajax at home with a repeat win over the Dutch favorite, it was not meant to be. Even holding such a team to a draw is a feat for Pereira’s men, though he does not think of it that way.
“I believe this gives a good indication of where this team is going. The only thing missing is being able to get the results we want over a few matches in a row, to decide what we want from those chances we had, and make them produce the right results,” he said. “The only thing that upsets me about the Ajax match was the result. I do not think we got a just outcome at Amsterdam Arena,” he added.
With two matches left, the Yellow Canaries are certainly vulnerable to the effects of potential negative results against Celtic and Molde. Celtic and Ajax can still qualify in Fenerbahandce’s place depending on future results.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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