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Asensio nets late Real winner

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Soccer Football - Champions League Round of 16 First Leg - Ajax Amsterdam v Real Madrid - Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands - February 13, 2019 Real Madrid's Marco Asensio celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Eva Plevier

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Marco Asensio scored a late winner for Real Madrid in a 2-1 victory at Ajax Amsterdam, who were left to rue a goal disallowed by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in their Champions League last-16, first leg on Wednesday.

Karim Benzema swept Real into the lead in the second half, before Hakim Ziyech scored a deserved equaliser.

They were also denied a first-half opener when Nicolas Tagliafico headed home but for the first time in Champions League history, the goal was ruled out after Slovenian referee Damir Skomina checked with the VAR and Dusan Tadic was judged offside.

Captain Sergio Ramos risks being hit with an extra game suspension which would rule him out of a potential Champions League quarter-final first leg after admitting he got booked on purpose.

With Madrid 2-1, Ramos was shown a yellow card in the 89th minute, his third booking of the European campaign which means he will be suspended from the second leg of the tie.

Should Madrid progress to the quarter-finals, Ramos would then have a clean slate.

But in an extraordinary post-match interview, Ramos said he had intentionally got booked against Ajax, which is against UEFA’s rules and punishable with a suspension of an extra game.

“Looking at the result I would be lying if I said it wasn’t intentional,” Ramos said.

“It’s something I was thinking about, it’s not to underestimate the opponent nor say the tie is over but in football you have to take difficult decisions.”

Elsewhere, defender Jan Vertonghen scored once and set up another goal for Son Heung-min as Tottenham Hotspur beat Borussia Dortmund 3-0 at Wembley Stadium to give them the clear edge following the first leg of their tie.

He notched his first goal in the Champions League with a well-timed volley in the 83rd minute after he had set up forward Son for a 47th minute lead. Substitute Fernando Llorente grabbed their third in the 86th.

That was Son’s ninth goal against Dortmund in 11 matches, with the South Korean, who played in the Bundesliga from 2010-15, having also scored twice in the competition’s group stage last season.

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