Frenkie de Jong was disappointed to see Ajax’s Champions League “fairytale” reach an unhappy and undeserved ending.
With the likes of De Jong and Matthijs de Ligt leading the charge, Ajax made their first semi-final appearance in 22 years following stunning victories over cup holders Real Madrid and Juventus.
After winning the first leg of their semi-final tie 1-0 last week, De Ligt and Hakim Ziyech’s first-half goals gave Ajax a commanding 2-0 lead in Amsterdam for the return leg on Wednesday night.
The Dutch giants were seemingly on course to reach the Champions League final for the first time since 1996.
But Lucas Moura’s second-half hat-trick completed a remarkable 3-2 comeback victory for Spurs, who progress to the final instead on away goals after finishing 3-3 on aggregate.
“I think we deserved to reach the final, given the way we played throughout the tournament and also in the first half tonight. In saying that, Spurs also earned their right with that second-half performance,” said De Jong, according to AOL.
“I think everyone enjoyed what we did in the Champions League this season, it was like a fairytale. Unfortunately, it was one with an unhappy ending. So disappointing to give it away in the last few seconds.
“We showed in patches what we were capable of. But in the second half, they caused us a lot of problems. It is indeed the third tie in a row in which we’ve won away but failed to do so at home. I don’t really know why.
“We always try to play the same, home or away. And if we’d kept up our first-half performance we could definitely have won this evening.”
De Jong will now focus on his two remaining matches for Ajax in the Eredivisie in the next six days.
As things stand, Ajax are level with PSV Eindhoven on 80 points at the top of the Eredivisie but ahead on superior win and goal difference.
Therefore, De Jong will be aiming to win his two final matches to end his time in Amsterdam with his first-ever league title before joining Barcelona in the summer.