Ten Hag: Ajax can get a result at Juve

Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag is optimistic heading into the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinal away to Juventus.

Ajax drew 1-1 against Juventus at home and was unfortunate not to add to David Neres' equaliser.   -  Getty Images

Erik ten Hag said Ajax can reach the Champions League semifinals if it has "100 per cent belief" following its 1-1 draw with Juventus.

The Cinderella story of this season's competition, Ajax produced another impressive performance in Wednesday's first-leg quarterfinal clash in Amsterdam, where David Neres cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo's opener.

Ajax – which stunned three-time reigning champion Real Madrid in the last 16 – was dominant against Juve at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, with the Dutch giant unfortunate not to add to Neres' 46th-minute equaliser.

After Frenkie de Jong and a youthful Ajax side starred again, head coach Ten Hag told reporters: "I think we pushed our boundaries again this night. But if we want to reach the semi-finals, we have to put in a lot of effort in the next game.

"We can use this game as an example, we can learn from it. If we have a 100 per cent belief, we can get a result there.

"We played very mature for 99.9 per cent of the game, yes. There was only one moment in which we didn't pay attention. They immediately took advantage of that.

"If you want to take the next step, you'll have to improve that. Of course, Juventus are still favourite in this tie, but today we showed we can measure ourselves with a team like this."

"If we want to beat them, we can't have weak moments against a club like this. If you don't pay attention for one second, they will punish you for that. So, we'll have to improve that," he continued.

"I think we had a good game plan and we executed it very well. I wished we scored the second goal, but we have to be happy with this result. We have to bury this result, because we play against Excelsior next weekend."

Ten Hag added: "I told my players it was important not to lose. You have to count your blessings at some time. You have to feel that a draw is the maximum result possible.

"We failed against Bayern Munich in the home game [of their group-stage fixture], giving away a 3-2 score. Against Real Madrid you concede the 1-2. So this is the result we bring to Turin. The draw is a result, which allows us to have a better position for the away game."

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