AMSTERDAM (AFP) – A viciously struck free-kick by Danish international Lasse Schoene allowed Ajax to come from behind and draw 1-1 with Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League Group F opener on Wednesday.
The French champions had taken a 14th-minute lead at the Amsterdam Arena thanks to Edinson Cavani’s 28th goal on his 50th appearance for the club, but they were made to pay for their failure to add to their advantage.
PSG’s line-up included three former Ajax stars in Gregory van der Wiel, Maxwell and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the latter welcomed by a banner from the home fans which read: ‘Welcome home son of God’.
David Luiz was passed fit to start in central defence for the away side while Blaise Matuidi was preferred to Javier Pastore in midfield.
Blanc’s side have been quarter-finalists in each of the last two seasons, and the Paris coach urged his team on the eve of this game to prove that they are capable of going all the way this time.
Ajax, meanwhile, have not made it beyond the group stage since 2005/06 and the Dutch champions came into this game on the back of a less than convincing start to their domestic campaign.
Frank de Boer’s side – who had Lucas Andersen and Icelander Kolbeinn Sigthorsson back – did well at home in the Champions League last season, beating Barcelona and Celtic and holding AC Milan. Nevertheless, they looked set for a long evening when poor defending allowed PSG to open the scoring.