Marco Asensio scored a late winner as Real Madrid secured a 2-1 victory over Ajax in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie in Amsterdam on Wednesday night.
The teams split possession evenly in the first 45 minutes with Ajax having the better of the chances.
And the hosts thought they’d found their opener in the 37th minute with a Nicolas Tagliafico header, only for the goal to be ruled out for an offside player obstructing Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois after consultation with the video assistant referee.
It was the first time that VAR, which was only introduced in the Champions League for this year’s knockout rounds, had been used to take away a goal and the teams went to the dressing room locked in a goalless draw.
Real would take the lead in the 60th minute when Vinicius Jr. set up Karim Benzema in the centre of the penalty area and the Frenchman smashed his shot past Andre Onana in the Ajax goal.
But Ajax would strike back through Hakim Ziyech in the 75th minute to level the score, before Asensio’s late strike broke the home supporters’ hearts with a second away goal.
Result aside, it’s still all to play for as the teams meet again on March 5 at the Santiago Bernabeu for the decisive second leg with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.