Bassey’s Ajax Crashes out of Europa League


Calvin Bassey was handed his second start under Ajax new head coach, John Heitinga, but it was a night to forget for the Nigerian and his teammates as Union Berlin cruised past the Dutch side, 3-1, to move into the UEFA Europa League round of 16 for the first time in their history.

After playing goalless in the first leg, Union Berlin took the early initiative and were the better side in the opening stages, but needed the intervention of VAR to go ahead.

The ball was handled in the box by Bassey, but after initially waving on, the play was called back by the Video assistant referee, and a penalty was awarded to the German side.

Robin Knoche duly converted to put Union Berlin ahead, but, while Ajax pushed for an equaliser, at the back they were undone by their goalkeeper as Geronimo Rulli made a compete mess of Juranovic’s effort to double Union Berlin’s lead a minute before to the end of the first half.

Ajax thought they have found a route back into the contest when Mohammed Kudus’ brilliantly taken strike halved the deficit just two minutes after the restart of the second half, but Berlin were in no mood to offer the visitors a route back in and maintained their two-goal advantage thanks to Danilho Doekhi’s powerful header in the 50th minute.

Ajax pushed for a way back into the contest but the closest they came was from Kudus, whose effort flashed wide off target.

Edson Alvarez was also shown a red card for descent towards the referee, after earlier being booked for a foul.

Calvin Bassey was in action for the entirety of the contest starting as a RCB in a back four. He was booked in the 17th minute.


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