Warzycha stuns Ajax

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The Independent Online
Panathinaikos beat the holders, Ajax, 1-0 with a late goal of rare class in their European Cup semi-final first-leg last night.

The Greek champions successfully snuffed out wave after wave of Ajax attacks and stole a precious away win with a goal by their Polish striker, Krysztof Warzycha, four minutes from time. The tricky winger, Yorgos Donis, who has been linked with Manchester United, made a surging 35-yard solo run before splitting the Ajax defence. Warzycha lofted the ball over Edwin van der Sar for his sixth goal of the campaign, ending Ajax's record 19- game unbeaten run in Europe's premier competition.

In last night's other semi- final, Gianluca Vialli scored his first European Cup goal of the campaign as Juventus beat 10-man Nantes 2-0 to stay on course for the final in Rome on 22 May.

Nantes were reduced to 10 players on the stroke of half-time when their midfielder, Bruno Carotti, was sent off for a second bookable offence. Vialli, widely expected to leave the Turin team when his contract expires at the end of the season, gave Juventus the lead with a close-range shot in the 50th minute, after Pietro Vierchowod had driven the ball into the area.

The Yugoslav midfielder, Vladimir Jugovic, made it 2-0 in the 66th minute with a powerful shot from the edge of the area. The match was a sixth European Cup semi-final for the Italian club.