Hakim Ziyech proud of Ajax performance despite Real Madrid loss

Hakim Ziyech - Ajax
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The 25-year-old’s effort was not enough to save the Dutch giants from bowing to Santiago Solari’s men in Amsterdam on Wednesday

Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech has lauded his teammates' performance despite bowing 2-1 to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 fixture.

The Morocco international cancelled out Karim Benzema’s opener in the 75th minute but Marco Asensio’s late strike gave Los Blancos a first-leg advantage in the Netherlands.

After seeing their first-half goal disallowed by VAR for offside, Ziyech remains unhappy with the outcome of the encounter but lauded the team’s effort.

“I think we can be proud of how we played, but I am disappointed with the result," Ziyech told Ziggo Sport.

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"In the first half, they only had a few shots from a distance and in the second half they also did, except for those two chances. Then they also punish us right away. Then you see how efficient they are.

“I am proud of the team, I think everyone is. But in the end, you also want to win and then this is disappointing.”

Ajax gave a better performance in Wednesday’s Champions League outing than Saturday’s Eredivisie fixture where they lost 1-0 to Heracles.

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And the playmaker, scorer of 15 goals in all competitions this season, has given reasons for the improvement in the team’s performance.

“We sometimes ask ourselves that. I think that as a team we are definitely keen on this kind of competition.

"Then it’s another kind of motivation that comes up, no matter how crazy it sounds. That is not allowed, but it is true."