BERN, Switzerland, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Former European champions Ajax Amsterdam moved within striking distance of a place in the Champions League's last 16 with a 4-2 injury-time win over competition newcomers FC Thun on Wednesday.
The unfancied Swiss seemed set for an impressive 2-2 draw in
their Group B match only for Ajax to grab the points with 91st
and 93rd minute goals from Nigel de Jong and Nourdin Boukhari.
Ajax had earlier taken the lead twice with goals by Wesley
Sneijder and Yannis Anastasiou cancelled out first by Mauro
Lustrinelli and then by Brazilian substitute Adriano.
"We didn't play a great game tonight but the important thing
is that we won," said Ajax coach Danny Blind after they bounced
back from three domestic league matches without scoring.
"We weren't getting forward enough and the team seemed to
lack confidence but this result should give us a good feeling
and a sense of perspective for the future."
The result was hard luck on Thun who also lost in injury
time to Arsenal on their Champions League debut in September.
"I think that was one of our best games today," reflected
Thun coach Urs Schoenenberger. "But again we were just a few
seconds or minutes away from causing an upset.
"Ajax are not just any old team and we saw how strong they
can be if you give them a bit of room. It's a great shame but I
have to compliment my team for a super performance."
Schoenenberger's praise was certainly justified with Thun
enjoying the lion's share of chances throughout the match.
Lustrinelli in particular should have had more than just the
one goal, the newly-capped Swiss international squandering two
great chances in the first half before heading over a gaping
goal with just six minutes remaining.
That missed opportunity had looked set to consign Thun to a
somewhat unlucky draw until de Jong and Boukhari denied them
even that consolation.