FC Copenhagen will have it all to play for next Thursday at the Amsterdam Arena following a 2-1 home win last night against Ajax in the last 16 of the Europa League.
And what a start it was in a Telia Parken Stadium filled to capacity. Ajax didn’t even touch the ball before stunningly going behind. The Dutch fans watched in disbelief as FCK jumped into the lead less than 30 seconds after the kickoff thanks to a cool finish by Rasmus Falk.
Ajax seemed a bit jittery after that and the Danish side had several big changes to extend their lead, but Yussef Toutouh and Frederico Santander spurned solid opportunities.
Instead it was Ajax who levelled proceedings, scoring an important away goal out of nothing, as Danish striker Kasper Dolberg slotted home following some slack defending.
The equaliser gave Ajax more confidence and the Dutch side had more of the ball in the early part of the second half, but suddenly the FCK fans were again on their feet as Andreas Cornelius headed home a quality cross from Peter Ankersen.
Ajax then had a good chance in the final moments to draw level again, but the Danish team held on and will take a slender lead into the second leg in Amsterdam next week.
“We beat a strong opponent. We had some slow feet for periods, particularly following the goal in the first half. It looked like we were running on quicksand,” Ståle Solbakken, FCK’s coach, told Bold.dk.
“We came back into the game and created the biggest chances of the second half. We should be proud of our performance and that we created more chances than them.”
The second leg kicks off at the Amsterdam Arena on March 16 at 21:05 with a spot in the quarter-finals on the line.
The Lions will be without their captain Mathias Zanka Jørgensen, who will miss the game through suspension following a booking last night. Fortunately for the Danish side, Ajax captain Davy Klaassen suffered the same fate.