Spartak Moscow have qualified for the quarter-finals of the Europa League after beating Ajax 3-0 on Thursday evening. The Russians cruised to a 4-0 aggregate victory following their first leg win in Amsterdam last week.
Dmitri Kombarov and Welliton gave Spartak a 2-0 lead after 45 minutes of play before Alex made it three after the break with a well taken free kick. Ajax had several chances to peg one back, but the Spartak shot stopper proved to be too much of an obstacle.
Spartak started the match with attacking intentions and got their first big chance after only four minutes. The Ajax defence allowed Evgeny Makeev way too much space, but goalkeeper Jeroen Verhoeven was alert and prevented an early opener. Kombarov then could have gave the Russian side the lead only minutes later, but his left footed shot went wide of the target.
The hosts deservedly opened the score midway the first half when they again tore up the Ajax defence. Ibson set up D. Kombarov with a superb through pass and the midfielder found the net with a low shot through Verhoeven's legs.
Ajax almost restored parity shortly when Christian Eriksen tried his luck from long range, but his shot went inches over the bar.
Spartak continued to dominate and effectively ended the tie at the half-hour mark. Ajax lost possession deep into the hosts' half and D. Kombarov set up Welliton on the counter-attack. The Brazilian hitman proved his class with a calm finish to make it 2-0.
Alex came close to making it three for Spartak minutes before the interval, but Verhoeven pulled off a good save to deny the playmaker.
Welliton | scored the 2-0 to effectively decide the tie
Ajax made two substitutions at half-time in an attempt to turn the game around, but it was the hosts who found the net again. The referee awarded Spartak a free kick after Jan Vertonghen fouled Welliton and Alex stepped up to fire home the free kick from 25 yards out.
The Godenzonen didn't give up and kept pushing for a consolation goal, but it was just not meant to be for the Dutch giants. Eriksen first hit the crossbar with a superb long range strike before being denied by the excellent Andriy Dikan around the hour mark.
Tricky winger Aras Ozbiliz came close to pegging one back as well after a superb individual action, but his left footed shot bounced back off the crossbar. Dario Cvitanich then should have scored the 3-1 after a good cross from the left, but Dikan made yet another world-class save to deny the Argentine.
A late free kick from the edge of the area almost got Ajax the goal they deserved after a good second half, but Siem de Jong aimed just too high and the chance went begging.
Welliton should have made it four after a quick counter-attack well into stoppage time, but his shot bounced back off the upright.
Spartak host Volga on Monday evening in their second match of the Russian League season. Ajax on the other hand resume Eredivisie action on Sunday when they travel to Den Haag for the match against ADO.