Cristiano Ronaldo

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Ronaldo rescues draw for Juventus against Torino

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TURIN, Italy (AP) Cristiano Ronaldo scored late as Juventus dented Torino’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League with a 1-1 draw in Serie A on Friday.

Torino looked set to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Superga air disaster by beating Juventus following Sasa Lukic’s first-half goal, but Ronaldo leveled six minutes from time.

Torino remained sixth, two points below fourth-place Atalanta for the final Champions League berth, ahead of the rest of the weekend’s games. Juventus has already won its eighth consecutive league title.

“The draw burns. We were thinking of victory,” Torino coach Walter Mazzarri said. “Two or three times we could have scored the second goal and maybe brought the win home.

“There are still three matches left. We have to play them like we did tonight.”

The derby was moved ahead a day to avoid clashing with the anniversary of the 1949 plane crash in which 31 people died, including the “Grande Torino” team that had won five straight league titles.

“The `Grande Torino’ side represented the history of football,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “Tomorrow we have to commemorate this tragedy, which will always remain in everyone’s memory and heart.”

Torino took the lead in the 18th minute after Lukic muscled Miralem Pjanic off the ball on a Juventus throw-in and curled into the far side of the net for his first goal for the club.

However, Ronaldo headed Leonardo Spinazzola’s cross into the top right corner in the 84th minute for his 21st league goal, which moved him back into a tie for second behind Sampdoria striker Fabio Quagliarella for the most goals in Serie A this season.

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Serie A: Ronaldo pegs back Inter, Roma into top four

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Inter dominated the first half, but Cristiano Ronaldo struck just past the hour mark and gave Juventus a 1-1 draw at Inter that prevented the hosts from truly pulling away from the Champions League muck.

Juventus, having already confirmed the Italian title last weekend, was held to just one shot on target through the first half. On the other end, Radja Nainggolan struck a beautiful goal to to pen the scoring, a blistering hit from outside the top right corner of the box that left Wojciech Szczesny late to react.

That had Inter in the lead, with a win set to push them six points above fourth-placed Roma, into a great spot leaving the Champions League race well behind them. Instead, Ronaldo played a one-two with Paulo Dybala and found space in the box to slot home the equalizer from near the penalty spot. That confirmed the 1-1 final scoreline, pushing Inter just four points above Roma and leaving with AC Milan with the opportunity to pull within three of Inter with a win Sunday.

AS Roma moved into the top four – at least for now – with a convincing 3-0 win against Cagliari in the Italian capital. The home side got revenge for the reverse fixture that featured a two-goal comeback by Cagliari despite being down two men. This time around, Roma went up 2-0 inside the opening 10 minutes on goals from Federico Fazio and Javier Pastore, and Aleksandr Kolarov finished it off late. The win moves them up to 58 points, good to move past AC Milan into fourth. AC Milan still has to take the field tomorrow at Torino, but any slip would see Roma gain the advantage for the final Champions League spot.

Finally, Bologna topped Empoli 3-1 at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara to keep the visitors in serious relegation trouble. Empoli had a 1-0 lead at halftime, but Roberto Soriano, Riccardo Orsolini, and Nicola Sansone all scored throughout the second half to send the home side on its way. That left Empoli in the final relegation position, four points back of 17th placed Udinese.

Ajax continues dream run with upset of Ronaldo’s Juve (video)

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  • Ronaldo gives Juve lead after 1-1 first leg
  • Van der Beek levels before halftime
  • De Ligt flicks home headed winner
  • Ajax will meet Man City-Spurs winner in semis

Matthijs De Ligt and Donny van der Beek scored as upstart Ajax continues to recall its glory days, outlasting Juventus 2-1 in Turin to claim a 3-2 aggregate win in a UEFA Champions League quarterfinal.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored for Ajax, who had a slight advantage after a 1-1 first leg.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Ajax proved a game foe, though Juventus went ahead early through one of the competition’s all-time giants.

Ronaldo took advantage of a collision between Ajax players to nod home from a corner kick, and Juve led 1-0 before the half-hour mark.

Van der Beek was right place, right time within five minutes of the opener to deadlock the leg and tie with a finish past Wojciech Szczesny.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

And like the first leg, Ajax was the better bet to score the second goal. This time, the Dutch legends did just that.

De Ligt hammered a header home off a corner kick to give Ajax a lead with 23 minutes to play in regulation.

Ajax was denied a goal for offside when Hakim Ziyech curled a shot around Szczesny, and VAR backed up the linesman.

Then Ronaldo was saved at the other end.

Ronaldo, Juve get away goal, draw Ajax (video)

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  • Ronaldo puts Juve ahead (video)
  • Neres levels just after halftime
  • Ajax out-attempts Juve 18-7

Cristiano Ronaldo and David Neres traded goals as Juventus was fortunate to escape the Amsterdam Arena with a 1-1 draw against Ajax in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal.

The second leg is Tuesday in Turin.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The shots and chances were even in the first half, Ajax putting the first two on target including a fine curler from Dusan Tadic that was pushed over the bar by Wojciech Szczesny.

Juve’s Federico Bernardeschi hit wide following a Cristiano Ronaldo knockdown in the 37th.

Ronaldo, instead, did the darn thing himself just before halftime, leaping forward to nod a long Joao Cancelo cross past Andre Onana.

Ajax tied the score just after halftime, and we mean just, as Neres spun this 46th minute ball past Szczesny.

WATCH: Ronaldo gives Juve halftime lead at Ajax

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Ajax may’ve been the better team in Amsterdam on Wednesday, but one of the UEFA Champions League’s kings reminded the young Dutch side what control without goals means in the competition.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Cristiano Ronaldo flew through the air to power a long Joao Cancelo cross past Andre Onana in the 45th minute of the UCL quarterfinal first leg at Johan Cruyff Arena.

The goal was shades of Ronaldo did against the USMNT in group stage of the 2014 World Cup, when CR7 was on the crossing end for Silvestre Varela‘s header. A bit prettier, though.

Ajax will need to level the tie to feel any optimism about rolling into the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday for the second leg.