AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Ajax was beaten 3-0 by Red Bull Salzburg in the last 32 of the Europa League on Thursday in Amsterdam, making the return next week in Austria almost a mission impossible.
The home-team started the match with optimism, but in the first minutes it already became clear which was the strongest of the two. The visitors combined well and constantly found holes in midfield and defense of Ajax.
The first attempts on target by defender Andre Ramalho Silva went over the crossbar, but after fourteen minutes Red Bull found the net. After a foul by Joel Veltman on Alan, Salzburg was awarded a penalty which was converted by Jonathan Soriano.
The Austrian league leaders continued to dominate the number one team of the Netherlands with Sadio Mane beating Ajax leftback Lerin Duarte and scoring the second goal. Jonathan Soriano completed the humiliation in the first half by surprising Ajax goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen with a 40-meter-shot in the 35th minute.
In the second half Salzburg remained the better side, created some chances, but they seemed satisfied and missed the sharpness of the first 45 minutes. Ajax stayed powerless, with the only positive note the debut of 19-year-old forward Ricardo Kishna as substitute.