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Dnipro hang on to oust Ajax

AFC Ajax 2-1 FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (agg: 2-2, Dnipro win on away goals)
Yevhen Konoplyanka's extra-time strike capped a backs-to-the wall performance.

Douglas celebrates after Dnipro find the target in Amsterdam
Douglas celebrates after Dnipro find the target in Amsterdam ©Getty Images

Riechedly Bazoer strikes on the hour as Ajax cancel out first-leg deficit
Lovely finish from Yevhen Konoplyanka turns tie in Dnipro's favour in extra time
Mike van der Hoorn's header gives Ajax hope at the end but Dnipro hang on
Ukrainian side successful despite being without five key players – and their coach
• Quarter-final draw in Nyon on 20 March at 13.00CET

FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk joined compatriots FC Dynamo Kyiv in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, keeping cool heads to get the better of AFC Ajax after extra time in Amsterdam.

The Dutch champions had struggled to lay a glove on their visitors, who went into this round of 16 second leg 1-0 to the good, and were unable to press their advantage after Riechedly Bazoer made it 1-1 on aggregate. Yevhen Konoplyanka silenced the Amsterdam ArenA crowd with a stylish finish seven minutes into overtime, and while Mike van der Hoorn restored Ajax's lead on the night, away goals saw them off.

With five first-choice players absent through injury or suspension, and coach Myron Markevych laid up with a virus, Dnipro rode their luck to begin with, goalkeeper Denys Boyko making a fine save to fend away Anwar El Ghazi's drive after seven minutes. Under Olexandr Ivanov, they then set about stifling their hosts.

Arkadiusz Milik went close with a header for Frank de Boer's side just before the interval, yet the coach cut a frustrated figure until Ajax got a fortunate break on 60 minutes. Egídio failed to cut out a ball from the left, inviting Bazoer to bear down on goal and beat Boyko with a firm hit.

Dnipro reshuffled and might have equalised on 71 minutes, Roman Bezus unsighted as a free-kick dropped onto his head and crept wide of Jasper Cillessen's right-hand post. Extra time then provided the stage for skipper Konoplyanka to make his star turn, cutting in from the left and skirting the edge of the box before curling a low shot inside Cillessen's left-hand post.

Van der Hoorn bravely nodded into the unguarded net after a rebound from Kolbeinn Sigthórsson's header dropped invitingly in the dying minutes, but Ajax could not finish Dnipro off.