Maxime Gonalons of Lyon (R) struggles for the ball with Adrian Calello (L) of Dinamo Zagreb during their UEFA Champions League Group D soccer match in Zagreb, Croatia, December 7, 2011.
Olympique Lyon denied Ajax a place in the next round of the Champions League on goal difference after an amazing turnout on Wednesday evening. The French side beat Dinamo Zagbreb 7-1 in Croatia, while Ajax lost 3-0 at home to Real Madrid.
Ajax started the match in Group D three points ahead of Lyon and with a far better goal difference than the French club. However the incredible happened with Lyon scoring seven times, while Ajax was denied two goals.
Lyon now finished on second place in Group D behind group winners Real Madrid with eight points and a slightly better goal difference (9-7) than Ajax (6-6). Ajax will now continue in the Europa League and Lyon in the Champions League.
Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld was ruled out of the match against Real at the Amsterdam Arena after suffering a hamstring injury during training on Tuesday. He was replaced by Daley Blind. Real Madrid rested most of their star players, including Cristiano Ronaldo.
With both teams having no chances in the first ten minutes Real converted the first chance of the match. Jose Callejon escaped from the attention of the Ajax defense and the offside trap. He scored in the 14th minute in a completely free position.
Ajax was denied goals by Nicolas Lodeiro and Vurnon Anita in the remainder of the first half, both times for disputable offside. Anita' s goal was cancelled because his shot was touched by Miralem Sulejmani who was in alleged offside position. Real captain Gonzalo Higuain did escape the offside trap of Ajax and made in 2-0 in the 41st minute.
In the second half Ajax striker Sulejmani hit the post and Ajax goalkeeper denied a goal by Esteban Granero. Meanwhile in Croatia Lyon kept scoring.
Dinamo Zagreb came ahead despite an early red card by Jerko Leko, with Mateo Kovacic scoring the opening goal. However, Lyon bounced back amazingly with goals by Bafetimbi Gomis (4x), Maxime Gonalons, Lisandro Lopez and Jimmy Briand. Jose Callejon scored Real' s third goal in the final minute.
After the sixth goal in the 70th minute, by Gomis, Lyon virtually passed Ajax on the ranking and produced an amazing escape, leaving Ajax behind completely shocked.