Soccer·CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Ronaldo returns with a goal as Juventus draws Ajax in 1st leg

Ajax wasn't rattled by a goal from Cristiano Ronaldo at the stroke of halftime, equalizing immediately after the break to secure a 1-1 draw against Juventus in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Match was marred by fan clashes with Dutch police

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo scores a diving header past Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana in a 1-1 draw in the opening leg of their Champions League quarter-final. (Martin Meissner/Associated Press)

Ajax wasn't rattled by a goal from Cristiano Ronaldo at the stroke of halftime, equalizing immediately after the break to secure a 1-1 draw against Juventus in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Showing increasing confidence after eliminating three-time defending champion Real Madrid in the last 16, Ajax produced more chances early on but then let Ronaldo waltz through its defence to head in a cross in the 45th minute.

Ronaldo was returning from a two-week injury layoff.

In the opening minute of the second half, David Neres capitalized on an error from Juventus winger Jose Cancelo — who provided the cross for Ronaldo's goal — and curled a shot into the far top corner.

Juventus nearly won it when Douglas Costa hit the post in the 85th.

The second leg is scheduled for next Tuesday in Turin, with the winner to face Manchester City or Tottenham in the semifinals.

The match was marred by fan clashes ahead of the game.

Police in Amsterdam said they fired a water cannon at football fans "to put out flares and prevent unsafe situations."

Local broadcaster AT5 showed images of scores of chanting fans being hosed by the water cannon and responding by tossing fireworks and flares at police before mounted officers charged at them followed by riot police.

Earlier, police in the Dutch capital said they had detained dozens of Italians suspected of possessing flares, a knife, pepper spray and fireworks.

It was a rematch of the 1996 final won by Juventus in a penalty shootout.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (10) is surrounded after a minor injury during his team's 1-0 win over Manchester United on Wednesday. (Jon Super/Associated Press)

Barcelona 1, Manchester United 0

Luke Shaw unwittingly helped Luis Suarez's header into the net to give Barcelona a 1-0 win over Manchester United on Wednesday in the first leg of their quarter-final.

The goal — initially flagged for offside before being awarded via a video review — came in the 12th minute during an exhilarating spell when Barcelona's possession exceeded 80 percent at Old Trafford.

But as Barcelona became sloppy and error-strewn, the early passing rhythm faded.

So while the Spanish champions ended a six-game winless run on the road in European knockout games stretching back to 2016, this quarterfinal is very much still in play heading into the second leg on Tuesday.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.