Ajax coach Erik ten Hag is still confident that his team will qualify for the semi-finals of the Europa League.

The team from Amsterdam lost the first leg against AS Roma in the quarterfinals on Thursday in a painful way with 1-2.

"This was an unnecessary defeat. We played a good game. It didn't look like Roma would score at all, but they did anyway. We helped them in the saddle", said Ten Hag at his press conference in the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

After Davy Klaassen's 1-0, Ajax seemed to be able to push through just before half-time, but it went completely wrong in the second half.

Dusan Tadic missed a penalty, Kjell Scherpen blundered at 1-1 and Roma even took the win in the final phase.

"Nevertheless, I have to give my players a big compliment for what they have shown before the 1-1. After the equalizer, they also have their backs and have started looking for a better result," said Ten Hag.

"It is sour that the 1-2 also fell, but they also fought afterwards. That is what we need in Rome. We have tasted that there are opportunities. Obviously we have a bad starting position, but we will go for it. . "


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'Will have to be more focused in Rome'

Ten Hag did not want to answer questions about tactics in Thursday's return on his press talk.

Devyne Rensch will not be there due to a suspension, but Maarten Stekelenburg may have recovered from an injury in time.

"I don't think we have to do that much differently in Rome. We have created a lot of opportunities today by having good pressure or being on the ball well. We have to have some luck on our side and not make the same mistakes. Then we have a chance. "

"It may be clear that we were not 100 percent effective. At the European level you get fewer opportunities than in the Eredivisie. We will have to be sharper in Rome, although more targeted is perhaps a better word."

The return between Roma and Ajax is on Thursday at 9 p.m. in Rome.

The winner of the diptych will probably take on Manchester United in the semi-finals, which won 0-2 against Granada in the first match in the quarter-finals.

View the program and the results in the Europa League