By Olawale Alabi
Ajax Amsterdam reached the UEFA Champions League knockout stages for the first time since 2006 after a 2-0 win over 10-man AEK Athens in Greece on Tuesday.
A Dusan Tadic brace gave the Dutch side the victory.
The result left former European Cup winners Ajax top of Group E on 11 points from five games.
They were one point ahead of Bayern Munich who were at home to third-placed Benfica (four points) in another match which kicked off at 2000 GMT.
AEK, who had Marko Livaja sent off in the second half, have no points and have been eliminated from European competition after suffering a fifth straight defeat.
Tadic fired Ajax ahead with a 68th minute penalty kick and sealed the win four minutes later after the visitors dominated their subdued rivals.
Ajax have won four titles in Europe’s premier club competition.
Although they enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession, Ajax failed to create any chances before midfielder Donny van de Beek hit the post in the 63d minute.
That was after Tadic’s clever cut-back from the left.
English referee Michael Oliver awarded Ajax a penalty kick after Livaja handled a free kick.
He then sent off the Croatian with a second yellow card for the offence before Tadic calmly converted the spot kick.
With AEK reeling, the visitors delivered the killer blow as substitute Klaas Jan Huntelaar squared the ball to Tadic.
The Serbia forward made no mistake from eight metres after home goalkeeper Vasilios Barkas was caught out of position.
AEK were denied a consolation in the closing stages when visiting goalkeeper Andre Onana produced a superb save to keep out a thundering Lucas Boye shot from the edge of the penalty area.