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Ajax holds on for dear life to reach UEL Final

APTOPIX France Europa League

Ajax’s Bertrand Traore jumps on top of his teammates as they celebrate scoring their side’s first goal during the second leg semi final soccer match between Olympique Lyon and Ajax in the Stade de Lyon, Decines, France, Thursday, May 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)


Kasper Dolberg scored a first half goal to give Ajax a four-goal edge on Lyon, but that did anything but make things academic at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais.

Alexandre Lacazette scored twice before halftime before Rachid Ghazzal pulled Lyon to within a goal of Ajax with nine minutes remaining in regulation.

But Lyon could only muster a 3-1 second leg win, sending Ajax to the May 24 final against Manchester United in Solna, Sweden, with a 5-4 advantage on aggregate.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The 19-year-old Dolberg had scored in the first leg, and scooped up a valuable away goal 27 minutes into the second.

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But Lyon wasn’t going away without a fight, turning to its star striker Lacazette.

The 25-year-old converted a penalty kick in the 45th minute and added one from the run of play in the first minute of stoppage time as Ajax bungled a touch atop its 18 and Lacazette was waiting on the left to provide the end product of Nabil Fekir’s work on the right.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Ghazzal netted in the 81st minute to move Lyon to within a goal of extra time but Ajax, somehow, held on.

Follow @NicholasMendola