UEFA Champions League Ivorian Haller’s brace for Ajax takes him level with Lewandowski

Ivorian striker Sebastian Haller came off the bench to score twice for Ajax Amsterdam in a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Turkish hosts Besiktas on Wednesday evening.

Haller, following the brace in the Group C match, moved level with Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski as the ongoing Uefa Champions League joint leading scorers on nine goals apiece from five matches.

Rachid Ghazzal scored for the hosts in the 22nd minute after a handball by an Ajax player; a decision which needed review of VAR before a penalty was awarded for the Besiktas player to convert.

Besiktas looked aggressive and ambitious as they threatened to score more goals but failed to add the second goal by half-time.

Ajax responded by introducing Haller who wasted no time to bag a double.

Haller scored his first goal in the 54th minute when he swept the ball into the net from close range after timing his run to perfection to deliver the final ball from a blistering counterattack.

Haller added the second goal when he reacted the sharpest from a ball that had originated from a free-kick to side-foot the ball into the net minutes later.

Towards the end of the game, the towering Ivorian thought he had score his second hat-trick of the campaign but his effort was ruled out for off-side.

The fifth consecutive loss ruled Besiktas out of the race for the group as they are winless in five matches.

Ajax moved nine points clear temporarily ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund who were taking on third-positioned Sporting Lisbon later on Wednesday afternoon.

Starting line-Ups:

Ajax: Andre Onana, Lisandro Martínez, Perr Schuurs, Nicolás Tagliafico, Noussair Mazraoui, Steven Berghuis, Ryan Gravenberch, Davy Klaassen, Dusan Tadic, Mohammed Daramy, David Neres.

Besiktas: Mert Günok, Francisco Montero, Domagoj Vida, Mehmet Topal, Umut Meras, Valentin Rosier, Alex Teixeira, Miralem Pjanic, Georges-Kévin Nkoudou, Rachid Ghezzal, Cyle Larin.

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