Amsterdam, Nov 22 (IANS) Borussia Dortmund secured a place in the knock−out phase of the Champions League by beating Ajax 4−1 here.
Dortmund had to qualify with a win or draw with Ajax and the reigning German champions showed their intentions from the start Wednesday. Although Ajax had more ball possession, the visitors proved they possessed most quality, especially on the break, reports Xinhua.
Mario Gotze was the star of the night. The 20−year−old forward set up the opening goal by Marco Reus and produced the second goal himself by coming in from the left and finishing with his right foot.
Four minutes from half time, Gotze was also involved in the third goal. His shot was saved by Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer but Robert Lewandowski converted the rebound.
In the second half, Christian Eriksen had the chance to narrow the margin but it was Dortmund that scored again. Gotze found Lewandowski and the Polish striker made it 4−0. Gotze also got the attention for diving for which referee Pedro Proenca awarded him with a yellow card instead of a penalty. Ajax substitute Danny Hoesen finally made the consolation goal of the home team in the 86th minute.
"They showed us how to play effectively," Ajax coach Frank de Boer said afterwards.
"They shot on target six times and scored four times. We had control but did not score. We also defended badly."
With Manchester city and Real Madrid drawing 1−1 in England, Dortmund are through to the last 16 as Group D winners with 11 points after five matches. Real secured the second spot with eight points but can't overtake Dortmund any more based on the results against each other.
Ajax are third with four points and Manchester City are fourth with three points.