The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Injury-time goal puts Milan up

Milan: An injury-time goal from substitute Jon Dahl Tomasson gave AC Milan a 3-2 win over Ajax Amsterdam in their Champions League quarter final, second leg on Wednesday to set up a semi-final with rivals Inter.

Ajax had equalised through South African Steven Pienaar 12 minutes from time and, until Tomasson struck, were set to go through on away goals after the first leg had ended goalless.

Milan led 1-0 at the interval thanks to a Filippo Inzaghi header before a pulsating second period in which a place in the last four changed hands four times.

It was cruel on a young Ajax side who played, as they have done throughout the competition, tight and neat football with a constant threat on the counter-attack.

But the win guarantees that one Serie A club will be in the final at Old Trafford on May 28 as Milan joined Inter and Juventus in the last four. Real Madrid face Juventus in the other semi-final after beating Manchester United 6-5 on aggregate.Milan took the lead against Ajax on the half hour when Rui Costa fed Andriy Shevchenko on the right and the Ukrainianís deflected cross was headed in by Inzaghi at the back post.

The Ajax defence were caught napping when Dario Simic lofted a high ball into the area and Inzaghi latched on to it and unleashed a strong drive, which Lobont did well to keep out.

Ajax coach Ronald Koeman made a positive switch at the break by bringing on Finnish striker Jari Litmanen for defender Jelle van Damme.

Straight away the Dutch side looked more dangerous with Zlatan Ibrahimovic flashing a header from an Andy van der Meyde cross just wide.

It was Litmanen who brought Ronald Koemanís side level in the 63rd minute, slotting home from close range after a low cross from Van der Meyde.

Within two minutes, though, Milan had restored their lead with Inzaghi turning sharply and bursting into the area. His attempted cross struck a sliding Pasanen and looped up to the back post where a grateful Shevchenko headed home.

That should have sealed the match for Milan but Ajax pulled level again on 78 minutes when Van der Meyde whipped in a cross from the left that was knocked down by Ibrahimovic and Pienaar scooped the ball in at the second attempt.

A place in the last four beckoned for the Dutchmen but in the final moments Massimo Ambrosini headed the ball into the Ajax area, Inzaghi poked it over the advancing Ajax goalkeeper Lobont and Tomasson helped the ball over the line.

Inzaghi raced away to celebrate the goal but it was the Dane who got the final touch to give his club their first semi-final place for eight years.

The Milan derby matches will be played on May 7 and May 13.


AC Milan: Dida; Dario Simic (Jon Dahl Tomasson 84), Alessandro Nesta, Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta; Christian Brocchi, Massimo Ambrosini, Rui Costa (Redondo 85), Kakha Kaladze (Rivaldo 80); Andriy Shevchenko, Filippo Inzaghi.

Ajax: Bogdan Lobont; Hatem Trabelsi, Petri Pasanen; Cristian Chivu; Jelle van Damme (Jari Litmanen 46); Abubakari Yakubu, Wesley Sneijder, John O'Brien; Steven Pienaar (Nigel De Jong 84), Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andy van der Meyde (Andre Bergdolmo 89).

Referee: Manuel Enrique Mejuto Gonzalez (Spain).

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