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Haller scores in every group-stage game for perfect Ajax

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AMSTERDAM (AP) — Sebastien Haller became only the second player, after Cristiano Ronaldo, to score in every group-stage match of a Champions League campaign as Ajax beat Sporting Lisbon 4-2 Tuesday.

The Ivory Coast striker scored his 10th goal of this season’s Champions League, helping Ajax to win all six of its group matches for the first time.

Powered by the prolific Haller, coach Erik ten Hag’s team eased into the round of 16 by scoring 20 goals and conceding just five in its group matches.

Ronaldo scored in every group-stage game for Real Madrid in the 2017-18 season.

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Haller opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the eighth minute after he was fouled by Daniel Braganca.

Nuno Santos leveled in the 22nd minute, stretching to volley back across the goal and into the far corner after a cross from the right by Bruno Tabata.

Brazil winger Antony restored Ajax’s lead 20 minutes later, calmly avoiding two Lisbon defenders before shooting past Joao Virginia.

Ajax, a four-time European Champion, was already assured of top spot and Lisbon of second place in Group C before the match at an empty Johan Cruyff Arena.

Anthony’s Brazil teammate David Neres made it 3-1 in the 58th and Steven Berghuis added the fourth four minutes later as Ajax overran the young Portuguese side in a dominant start to the second half.

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Another Brazilian, Tabata, pulled back a goal for Lisbon with a powerful left-foot volley in the 78th.

Sporting’s Luis Neto, left, and Ajax’s Sebastien Haller fight for the ball during a Champions League group C soccer match between Ajax and Sporting CP, at the at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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