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Bayern, Ajax & J-League win to join Anderlecht in Future Cup semi-finals

Goal.com logo Goal.com 16-04-2017

After an exciting opening to the ABN Amro Future Cup in Amsterdam, day two started with Anderlecht looking to maintain their perfect opening to the tournament when they took on Group B’s bottom side Paris Saint-Germain.

Strong pressing from the group leaders forced a mistake from the French side in their own box, which was followed by another when the subsequent shot was met with a handball. Alan Mayanga stepped up to convert and give his side the advantage just eight minutes in.

PSG pulled level in the second half through a penalty of their own, with Junior Dina Ebimbe sending it into the bottom corner to end a draw.

In the group’s other game, Bayern Munich and Arsenal were battling for the remaining semi-final spot and it took just four minutes for the German side to take the lead. In a move which started from the edge of their own box, an excellent cut-back from the left side was met by Marcel Zylla, who sent the ball flying into the net.

Arsenal created chances of their own in the rest of the half but could not get past the goalkeeper, and Bayern made them pay after half time when Frank Evina ran onto a pass and smashed it in at the near post.

Four minutes later, Zylla got his second and put the game beyond doubt when he received it in the box, creating space for himself and then applying a fine finish.

It was four shortly afterwards. Can Karatas found himself conveniently placed to nudge in a low cross from close range.

The Gunners got their consolation goal as Florain Balogun slipped in behind the defence to meet a through ball, beating the keeper with ease. The comeback did not materialise, however, as Bayern’s job was done.

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After passing up an earlier opportunity, Benfica took the lead just 13 minutes into their Group A encounter with J-League. Tiago Dantas kick-started a neat combination on the edge of the box and carried on to tuck it home.

The Japanese selection pushed forward and equalised through Siriyu Fujiwara, who found space at the back post to tap in a cross.

Soichiro Kozuki gave them the advantage in the second half with a superb header, before Kohei Okuno was rewarded for his efforts with a fine finish to a move he started.

They further enhanced their dominance when Akito Tanahashi got between two defenders, took the pass on his stride and sealed the 4-1 win.

Ryan Gravenberch had Ajax on their way to the semi-finals just four minutes into their game with Juventus, running in with a simple shot to meet a pass from the byline.

Ajax were pressing high and forced their way into Juve’s box again, this time earning a penalty, which Abdallah Aberkane sent in through the middle.

The hosts were unable to convert any of the chances they created later, but Juve had no reply as the game was settled by the penalty.

At the end of the first phase, J-League occupy the first semi-final spot and will take on Group B runners-up Bayern Munich on Monday at 10.00, while the two most successful teams in the competition – Ajax and Anderlecht – will compete for the other final spot at 11.30. The losers of those games will meet at 13.30 for the consolation prize before the final at 15.00

No one misses out on the final day, however, as the teams in third in each group face each other, as do the fourth-placed sides, meaning Juventus play PSG at 10.00 and Benfica take on Arsenal at 12.00.

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