Ajax fails to qualify for European Champions League next season
Dutch premier league runner-up Ajax has failed to qualify for next season's European Champions League after being held to a 0-0 draw at home in Amsterdam by FC Twente Sunday night in a return leg in the Dutch playoff for a berth in the preliminary round of Europe's elite league.
Ajax was beaten by Twente in the first leg 1-2. The Amsterdam giant will now play in the UEFA Cup next season.
The smallest of victories (1-0) would have been enough for Ajax. Luis Suarez, Gabri, Kenneth Perez and Klaas Jan Huntelaar had good opportunities. But a lack of luck and a great Twente goalkeeper Sander Boschker kept Ajax from scoring.
"The luckiest team went through after two matches," Ajax head coach Adrie Koster said. "We had the chances today. But when you get them, you have to finish them. We didn't. Ajax are now doomed to play UEFA Cup."
Koster was extremely disappointed after a season during which, in his view, Ajax had got nothing.
"We just missed the (league) title and we haven't qualified for the preliminary round of the Champions League. For now, no chance to measure us against the big clubs. We did all we could this season, but we didn't succeed and that is disappointing," he added.
League champion PSV Eindhoven has automatically qualified for the Champions League. The clubs which finished 2nd to 5th in the league fought for the only other berth, with Twente being the lucky one.