Ajax's Haller scores four goals in UCL debut

Ruben Vinagre of Sporting CP (L) vies with Sebastien Haller of AFC Ajax (R) for the ball possession during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Sporting CP and AFC Ajax at Estadio Jose Alvalade on September 15, 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Ajax added to its scoring spree early in the season with debutant Sébastien Haller finding the net four times in the team’s 5-1 win at Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Making his Champion League debut, Haller scored twice in the first 10 minutes and twice again in the second half to help Ajax reach 18 goals in its last five matches.

Steven Berghuis also scored for the Dutch champions at the José Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon.

The victory ended a 22-match unbeaten home streak in all competitions for Sporting, which is back in the Champions League for the first time since 2017-18.

In the other Group C match, Erling Haaland scored a goal as Borussia Dortmund won 2-1 at Turkish champion Beşiktaş.

The 27-year-old Haller, a former West Ham player, was left out of the Europa League last season after Ajax forgot to register him for the competition. The box next to the name of the Ivorian striker, Ajax’s record signing, wasn’t ticked when the club sent its squad list to UEFA.


He opened the scoring on Wednesday with a diving header after a shot by Antony struck the post, then easily found the net from close range after another assist by the Brazilian forward inside the area.

The hosts pulled closer with a goal by Paulinho after a blunder by Ajax goalkeeper Remko Pasveer in the 33rd, but six minutes later Berghuis rebuilt Ajax’s two-goal cushion before Haller got his third in the 51st and fourth in the 63rd.

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