A second-half hat-trick from Lucas Moura inspired Tottenham Hotspur to a come-from behind 3-2 win over Ajax Amsterdam in the second semi-final tie at the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday night.
It’s almost as if Spurs were inspired by fellow English side Liverpool who also rallied back from a 3-0 first-leg deficit to advance past Barcelona with a 4-0 aggregate win.
Ajax came into the tie with a 1-0 scoreline they accumulated from the first leg in England, and picked up from where they left off when Jan De Ligt gave the hosts the lead as early as the 14th minute.
Hakim Ziyech, who has been one of Ajax’s star performers over both legs, doubled the hosts’ lead in the 36th minute to give his side a comfortable 3-0 aggregate score going into the halftime break.
Spurs came out firing in the second half and pulled a goal back through Moura 10 minutes after the interval following a great one-two play with Dele Alli. The Brazilian superstar then grabbed his second of the match in the 59th minute when the Ajax defence struggled to clear their lines after a goal-mouth scramble.
Erik Ten Hag’s charges had numerous chances to kill off the tie but Spurs stood resilient and saw their efforts rewarded when Moura and Alli again linked up to see the former PSG attacker complete his hat-trick with a 96th minute winner, for the Lily Whites’ first-ever UEFA Champions League final.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side will now renew their rivalry against Jurgen Klopp’s troops in an all-English final (the first since Manchester United defeated Chelsea in 2008) in Madrid on June 1.
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Darren Keet (Bidvest Wits ), Rowen Williams (SuperSport United), Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs)
Daniel Cardoso (Kaizer Chiefs), Rivaldo Coetzee (Mamelodi Sundowns), Ramahlwe Mphahlele (Kaizer Chiefs), Thulani Hlatshwayo (Bidvest Wits), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), S’Fiso Hlanti (Bidvest Wits ), Buhle Mkhawanazi (Bidvest Wits), Thamsanqa Mkhize (Cape Town City)
Bongani Zungu (Amiens), Hlompho Kekana (Mamelodi Downs), Dean Furman (SuperSport United), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford FC), Tiyani Mabunda (Mamelodi Downs), Thulani Serero (Vitesse Arnhem FC), Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates), Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Fortune Makaringe (Maritzburg United), Ben Motshwari (Orlando Pirates), Keagan Dolly (Montpellier)
Lebo Mothiba (RC Strasbourg), Percy Tau (Royal St Union), Lars Veldwijk (Sparta Rotterdam), Lebogang Maboe (Mamelodi Sundowns), Sibusiso Vilakazi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Kermit Erasmus (Cape Town City)
Bafana Bafana have been pitted in Group F alongside Ivory Coast, Namibia and Morocco.
They open their Afcon account against the Elephants on June 18.
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Mondli Mpoto (Bloemfontein Celtic), Darren Johnson (Ajax Cape Town), Reyaad Pieterse (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Thendo Mukumela (Ajax Cape Town), Keanu Cupido (Cape Town City), Reeve Frosler (Kaizer Chiefs), Tercious Malepe (Chippa United), Katlego Mohamme (SuperSport United), Bongani Sam (Bloemfontein Celtic), Sandie Mthethwa (Richards Bay United)
Teboho Mokoena (Supersport United), Athenkosi Dlala (Supersport United), Kegan Dolly (Montpellier), Sipho Mbule (SuperSport United), Kamohelo Mahlatsi (SuperSport United), Grant Margeman (Ajax Cape Town), Jamie Webber (SuperSport United), Kgaogelo Sekgota (Vitoria Setubal, (Portugal).
Phakamani Mahlambi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Lerato Lepasa (TS Galaxy), Jemondre Dickens (Baroka FC), Luther Singh GD Chaves, Portugal), Liam Jordan (Koge FC, Denmark)
National U23 head coach David Notoane will take charge of the COSAFA Squad for the SADC regional tournament which starts on Saturday, 25 June.