Soccer-No team will want to draw Ajax in Champions League, says coach


Soccer Football - Champions League - Group C - Ajax Amsterdam v Sporting Lisbon - Johan Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam, Netherlands - December 7, 2021 Ajax Amsterdam coach Erik ten Hag reacts with empty stands in the background as fans are restricted from attending amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Ajax Amsterdam coach Erik ten Hag said no team will enjoy being drawn against them in the Champions League round of 16 when the pairings are announced on Monday after the Dutch club won all six of their group stage matches.

Ajax completed a clean sweep of Group C with a 4-2 home win over Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday, with Sebastien Haller becoming only the second player after Cristiano Ronaldo (2017/18) to score in all six group games.

With Liverpool also winning six out of six in their group this campaign, the number of teams to have achieved the feat stands at nine, UEFA said.

"It is already difficult to win one match, let alone six in a row," said Ten Hag, who added that he would not watch the draw for the next round.

"We'll see what comes out. You also know in advance that it will be tough, but we have gained confidence.

“We know we can achieve something. No team will enjoy being drawing against Ajax. But we also know that we have to be very good to go to the next round.”

Haller, who scored 10 goals in the group, said he was proud of the team's performances.

"Of course I feel great, but mainly because of the 18 points from six games,” said the French-born Ivory Coast international.

“We can be very proud of what we have achieved in the group stage. As a professional football player, you dream of playing such matches and doing well on this podium. Ten goals is very nice."

(Wiring by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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