no fears as mears takes marseille through published: wednesday 18 march 2009, 23.30cet afc ajax 2-2 olympique de marseille (agg: 3-4) tyrone mears' extra-time header earned the visitors a place in the uefa cup quarter-finals after the hosts had cancelled out their first-leg deficit.
tyrone mears' extra-time header earned olympique de marseille a place in the uefa cup quarter-finals after afc ajax had cancelled out their first-leg deficit.
birthday blues defending a 2-1 lead from the first meeting last week, the ligue 1 side went behind in amsterdam when eyong enoh scored just after the half-hour mark only for mamadou niang to put the visitors back in front in the tie two minutes later. miralem sulejmani forced an extra 30 minutes with a close-range header but it merely allowed english-born right-back mears to come to the fore, earning victory in the 110th minute. ajax, celebrating their 109th birthday, therefore fell just short, their misery compounded when bruno silva was dismissed in the dying moments.
suárez attempts luis suárez's first-leg penalty had given the hosts something to cling to and they stormed out of the blocks at the amsterdam arena, with the uruguayan at the hub of their most enterprising moves. he wasted a great chance in the fourth minute when, in space eight metres out, he headed straight at goalkeeper steve mandanda. suárez nodded wide soon after and then squandered a third opportunity as his volley, from silva's cross, failed to trouble the om no30.
quick response the striker made amends as he set up enoh's opener on 33 minutes, slipping a pass through the heart of the marseille defence for the young cameroonian, who beat the offside trap and shot low past mandanda. the visitors were quickly level as niang – who earlier had a goal disallowed for offside – ran on to bakari koné's pass and fired between kenneth vermeer legs and in.
mears decider suárez continued to threaten after the break but was thwarted by mandanda as om struggled to retain possession in midfield, instead relying of defiant defending, and it took sulejmani's 74th-minute goal to break their resolve. a free-flowing move ended with suárez turning vitorino hilton and crossing for sulejmani, who headed into an empty net. ıt was mears, though, who had the last word with penalties looming, nodding in following mamadou samassa's flick-on.