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Ajax beats Valencia for 2nd straight win in Champions League

VALENCIA, Spain (AP) — Ajax beat Valencia 3-0 to stay perfect in Group H in the Champions League on Wednesday. Hakim Ziyech and Quincy Promes scored in the first half, and Donny van de Beek added to the lead in the second.

Ajax beat Lille 3-0 at home in its first match, while Valencia had opened with a 1-0 win at Chelsea. “Six points in two matches is a good start and now we have to keep going,” Van de Beek said. “Today was a great game. Valencia play really good football but they (didn’t) score. That was the difference today.”

Ajax struck first at Mestalla Stadium with a booming strike by Ziyech into the top corner in the eighth minute. Promes added a second from close range in the 34th, and Van de Beek closed the scoring with a low shot from inside the area in the 67th.

“We played a fantastic match and deserved to win,” Ajax coach Erik ten Hag said. “At times on the sideline I can really enjoy us playing football. Not many teams can do this at Mestalla.” Valencia playmaker Dani Parejo missed a penalty kick less than 10 minutes before Ajax’s second goal, sending the ball over the bar after defender Edson Álvarez fouled Gonçalo Guedes inside the area.

Valencia again almost scored five minutes after Ajax added to its lead in the first half, but Rodrigo’s shot from near the goal struck the post. Ziyech hit the crossbar before halftime with a shot from outside the area.

Valencia missed several chances throughout the second half with Ajax goalkeeper André Onana putting in a good performance. Chelsea won 2-1 at Lille in the group’s other game Wednesday, reaching the same three points as Valencia. Lille is last with zero points.

On Oct. 23, Ajax hosts Chelsea and Valencia visits Lille.

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