Tottenham stuns Ajax 3-2 to reach Champions League final

Facing a three-goal deficit at halftime in their Champions League semifinal, Tottenham’s players had to think back only 24 hours or so to find a source of inspiration.

“We saw Liverpool last night — it goes to show it’s not over until it is over,” Tottenham fullback Danny Rose said.

In this year’s Champions League, that certainly seems to be the case. Just a day after Liverpool’s stunning win over Barcelona, Tottenham pulled off another epic comeback Wednesday in Amsterdam.

Lucas Moura completed a hat trick in the sixth minute of injury time as Tottenham rallied to beat Ajax 3-2 and reach its first Champions League final, ending a remarkable run by the young Dutch team that had knocked off some of Europe’s biggest clubs along the way.

Ajax seemed to have the two-legged semifinal cinched by halftime after teenage captain Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech netted to put it 2-0 up — and 3-0 on aggregate.

But Moura scored twice in a four-minute span to put the visitors one goal from going through 3-3 on aggregate thanks to the away-goals rule.

“It’s impossible to explain what I’m feeling in this moment,” Moura said. “We always believed it was possible, and we gave everything on the pitch. I think we deserved this moment.”

ELSEWHERE

Nadal overcomes stomach virus, wins

Rafael Nadal, recovering from a stomach virus, cruised to a 6-3, 6-3 win over teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime to reach the third round of the Madrid Open.

David Ferrer’s career came to an end with a 6-4, 6-1 loss to defending champion Alexander Zverev. The 37-year-old Spaniard had said before the tournament that he would retire.

On the women’s side, top-ranked Naomi Osaka reached the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich, and defending champion Petra Kvitova defeated Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-3;.

College golf: Stanford and San Jose State advanced to the NCAA women’s championships May 17-22 in Fayetteville, Ark. The Cardinal finished fourth in the East Lansing, Mich., regional. The Spartans were fifth in the Cle Elum, Wash., regional. Cal finished 12th in the Auburn regional and did not advance.

— Ron Kroichick

College basketball: Washington State added graduate transfer Deion James (Colorado State) and incoming freshman Noah Williams, a 6-foot-5 guard who is the son of WSU alum Guy Williams, to its team for next season under new head coach Kyle Smith, who left USF to take the Cougars’ job. Guy Williams went to Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland and USF before transferring to WSU. He played five game for the Warriors in the 1985-86 season.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Tottenham-stuns-Ajax-3-2-to-reach-Champions-13830733.php.

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