Mike Drennan continued his amazing NextGen Series striking form as he fired Aston Villa into the quarter-finals of the tournament at the expense of last year’s runners-up Ajax.
The two sides contested the first round-of-16 match of this year’s competition last night and Aston Villa came out on top with a 2-1 victory.
After thrashing Sporting Lisbon in the group stage and beating PSV Eindhoven, Aston Villa went into the tie as underdogs having been seeded as one of the lower ranked teams in the draw.
Ajax were slightly weakened with the exclusions of Viktor Fischer and Davy Klaasen as they have been promoted to the first-team but still boasted a strong side.
Djavan Anderson gave Ajax an early lead as Lesley de Sa set him up inside the opening 15 minutes.
Mike Drennan almost levelled the scores with a cheeky effort going a whisker away from the far post.
A large period of Aston Villa pressure began to pay off and they were rewarded for their efforts when Drennan latched on to a ball and finished his sixth goal of the tournament.
Bradley Lewis struck just over the hour mark to give Villa the lead – and one they sustained for the remaining half hour to celebrate their place in the last eight.
This result puts the Villains in the quarter final stage of the competition for the second consecutive year. Last year they were defeated by Marseille.