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Netherlands: Ajax take advantage in playoff final

26 April 2006 22:58

AMSTERDAM, Apr 26 (SW) - Ajax have one foot in the Champions League after they defeated FC Groningen 2-0 in the first leg of their playoff final on Wednesday night at the ArenA.

Just nine minutes into the action, Swedish international Markus Rosenberg gave Danny Blind's side the lead on the second effort after his initial shot was blocked.

It looked like Groningen would head back home down only a goal after some resolute defending, but Angelos Charisteas doubled the lead for the home side with 20 minutes left to play following a cross by Nourdin Boukhari.

The winner of the tie will advance to the third qualifying round of the Champions League with the loser going to the UEFA Cup. Also going to the UEFA Cup will be either Heerenveen or Twente after the two sides advanced to the final of that playoff.

Elsewhere, Vitesse and NEC Nijmegen drew 0-0 in the first leg of their tie to determine who will represent the Netherlands in this summer's Intertoto Cup.

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