Noussair Mazraoui’s Ajax dreaming of knockout rounds – Erik ten Hag

Noussair Mazraoui’s Ajax dreaming of knockout rounds – Erik ten Hag
Hakim Ziyech of Ajax

by Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 25, 2018. 12:00

Moroccan stars Noussair Mazraoui and Hakim Ziyech can dream of the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League, according to the words of AFC Ajax coach Erik ten Hag.

The Amsterdam side are top of Group E with seven points following a 1-0 win over Benfica at the Johan Cruyff Arena in midweek.

Atlas Lions youngster Mazraoui struck two minutes into injury time at the end of the game to see the Dutch side continue their unbeaten run in the group.

“The result was a relief, but I also enjoyed the atmosphere in the stadium, and the performance of two teams who were each going for the win,” said ten Hag, as quoted by the club’s official website.

“The fact that the game swung back and forth so much isn’t really ideal, but the transition moments were there.

“That was our doing, but it’s also a quality that Benfica has.

“It was just like the Southern European teams play, and they get the referee on their side. My players were getting annoyed, which wasn’t good.”

The Ajax coach said his side’s points haul at the midway point of the group stage is a surprise even to him.

“No, I’m not such a dreamer,” he replied when asked if he had predicted Ajax’s performances.

“But we learn fast and if we continue to progress this way, then we definitely have the chance to be in the Champions League after the winter break.”

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