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    Dortmund thrash Ajax 4-1 in the Champions League

    Amsterdam: Mario Goetze was involved in all four goals, including two by Robert Lewandowski, as Borussia Dortmund cruised into the knockout stage of the Champions League by outclassing Ajax 4-1 on Wednesday. Dortmund sealed the win before halftime at Amsterdam Arena thanks to its clinical finishing on the break and Goetze's skill and vision. The 20-year-old Germany forward set up Marco Reus for the opener, scored the second, while his 41st-minute shot was blocked by goalkeeper Kennneth Vermeer with Lewandowski gratefully snapping up the rebound.

    "In the first half they were only in front of goal three times and they scored three goals. They were so effective," said Ajax captain Siem de Jong. Shortly before being substituted, Goetze crossed from the left in the 67th minute to Lewandowski, who controlled the ball and shot past Vermeer from a tight angle for his fourth goal of this Champions League campaign. "We saw amazing effectiveness today," said Ajax coach Frank de Boer. "But we gave away goals far too easily." One of the only involvements from Goetze that didn't pay off came when he was booked for a dive in the penalty area in the 53rd minute.

    Ajax brought on Lasse Schone in the second half for more creativity in midfield, and the team carved out more chances as Dortmund relaxed without being able to find the net due to goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller saving shots from Christian Eriksen and substitute Viktor Fischer. Substitute Daniel Hoesen finally grabbed a late consolation goal for four-time European champion Ajax with a deflected shot that lobbed over Weidenfeller.

    Dortmund, the 1997 Champions League winner, started the match unbeaten in Group D, including a win and a draw against Real Madrid, a draw with Manchester City and a late 1-0 victory over Ajax at home.Ajax travel to Madrid for their last match, while Dortmund face Manchester City. Madrid also qualified for the knockout stage with a 1-1 draw in Manchester.

    Champions League