Darwin Nunez headed home in the 77th minute as Benfica stunned Ajax to reach the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday, winning the second leg of their last-16 tie 1-0 in Amsterdam to advance 3-2 on aggregate.
The Portuguese side had not managed a single attempt on target until Uruguayan striker Nunez beat goalkeeper Andre Onana to Alex Grimaldo’s free-kick and headed in to silence the Johan Cruyff Arena.
Ajax, who had dominated the first half, could not recover from that blow and go out while two-time European Cup winners Benfica look forward to Friday’s draw for the quarter-finals.
Having sent Barcelona packing in the group stage, they will now appear in the last eight for the first time since 2016.
“We are among the eight best teams in Europe. The team worked so hard to achieve this against really difficult opponents,” said Benfica coach Nelson Verissimo.