Ajax saw an end to their champions league qualifying campaign after suffering a shocking 5-4 aggregate defeat to Rapid Vienna. Rapid, the lowest-ranked team in the non-champions section of the draw, looked to be on their way out a week ago when they trailed 2-1 at home and had been reduced to 10 men. But they found an equaliser to give them hope for the return leg and produced a fine performance to send Ajax tumbling out.
The Austrian side rushed into a shock two-goal lead before half-time as Robert Beric and Louis Schaub found the back of the net. But Ajax fought back after the break with Arkadiusz Milik reducing the arrears before Nemanja Gudelj brought the tie level in the 75th minute.
Frank de Boer’s men had no sooner finished celebrating before they were fishing the ball out of their own net again when Schaub bagged his second of the game.
That gave Rapid a crucial third away goal, meaning Ajax had to score twice in the final 13 minutes to avoid a premature exit. But they could find no way back into the tie. The result means Sporting Lisbon will now be seeded into the playoff round draw in place of Ajax, alongside Manchester United, Valencia and Bayer Leverkusen. The final seed will be decided after Wednesday’s other qualifiers between Shakhtar Donetsk, CSKA Moscow and Lazio.