Chelsea beats Ajax 3-0 in first leg of Women's Champions League quarterfinals

Tue, Mar 19, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Chelsea beats Ajax 3-0 in first leg of Women's Champions League quarterfinals

LONDON (AP) - Chelsea beat Ajax 3-0 away in the first leg of the Women's Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday to close in on a second straight appearance in the last four of Europe's top competition.

England forward Lauren James opened the scoring and Germany midfielder Sjoeke Nusken added goals either side of halftime for Chelsea, which is bidding to win the Champions League for the first time.

The second leg is at Stamford Bridge on March 27.

The London club is chasing a quadruple of major trophies in coach Emma Hayes' final season in charge before she takes the helm of the United States' women's national team. Hayes' team leads the Women's Super League, is into the final of the English League Cup and has reached the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.

Ajax is competing in the knockout stage of the Champions League for the first time and caused plenty of problems for Chelsea early on at Johan Cruyff Arena, only to concede goals from the visitors' only two shots of the first half.

James rounded the goalkeeper and slotted home in the 19th minute for a goal that stood after a VAR check for offside, before Nusken slid in to convert the second in the 44th.

Nusken headed in the third goal in the 83rd to leave Chelsea in total control.

Later Tuesday, record eight-time champion Lyon visits another first-time quarterfinalist, Benfica.

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