Inter set up a Champions League quarter-final with Villarreal when a superb goal by Dejan Stankovic gave them a 1-0 win over Ajax last night to complete a 3-2 victory on aggregate.

Stankovic's 57th-minute strike sealed a deserved victory for the home side after they created a string of chances, although they missed a first-half penalty when Brazilian forward Adriano fired his spot-kick wide.

The Italians spent most of the opening 30 minutes camped in the Ajax half, having created their first chance in the second minute when an Adriano shot rebounded off a defender to Luis Figo, who curled the ball over the bar.

Obafemi Martins went even closer in the 12th minute when the ball broke loose to him just outside the area and his fierce shot hit the bar.

The Dutch side appeared to succumb to the pressure in the 26th minute when their captain, Olaf Lindenbergh, handled a Stankovic cross to give Inter a penalty but Adriano scuffed the ball wide.

Having survived that scare, Ajax began to make the occasional foray forward, though long-range shots by Lindenbergh and Mauro Rosales failed to test keeper Francesco Toldo.

Inter's Walter Samuel began the move that finally broke the deadlock. He intercepted an Ajax pass and pumped the ball forward to Stankovic who ran down the left and curled the ball home at the far post.

Ajax never looked like scoring the two goals they needed to win the match. The closest they came was on 83 minutes when Steven Pienaar's drive was blocked by Toldo.

Champions League

 

1st Leg

2nd Leg

Agg

Last 16 - Played Yesterday
Inter (Italy) vs Ajax (Holland)

 
2-2

 
1-0

 
3-2

Quarter-Finals
Arsenal (England) vs Juventus (Italy)

 
28/3

 
5/4

 

Benfica (Portugal) vs Barcelona (Spain)

28/3

5/4

 

Inter (Italy) vs Villarreal (Spain)

29/3

4/4

 

Olympique Lyon (France) vs Milan (Italy)

29/3

4/4

 

Semi-finals Pairings
Arsenal/Juventus vs Inter/Villarreal
Olympique Lyon/Milan vs Benfica/Barcelona

 

 

 

Quarter-finals: March 28/29 and April 4/5.
Semi-finals: April 18/19 and 25/26. Final (in Paris): May 17.

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