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Ajax’s Ten Hag reveals why he started Onana against Besiktas

4:03 am AEDT 26/11/21
Onana Ajax
Despite the fine form of Remko Pasveer, the Cameroon international was named in the starting XI for Wednesday’s showdown against the Black Eagles

Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has explained why he picked Andre Onana in goal ahead of Remko Pasveer for Wednesday’s Champions League game against Besiktas.

The Cameroon international was initially handed a 12-month suspension for failing an out-of-competition doping test, with his Dutch club claiming their number one accidentally took medicine prescribed for his wife.

Nevertheless, the sanction was reduced to nine months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in June – which meant his suspension ended on November 4.

Against the Turkish side, however, Onana started in goal for the Dutch Eredivisie team – securing a 2-1 comeback win – to maintain their perfect start in the competition.

Addressing media after the game, Ten Hag was asked for his motives for moving Pasveer - who has been in fine form - to the bench.

''Remko [Pasveer] is doing a fantastic job, that's clear. He is perhaps the best goalkeeper in the Netherlands at the moment. But I wanted to see [on Wednesday] if we not only have a team, but also a selection,” he was quoted by Ajax website.

“Onana is an important part of that, although he hasn't played for a long time. He now has to gain rhythm within Ajax, within our way of playing."

"We wanted to keep everything in our own hands and not be dependent on the last game in Lisbon. That's what we did.

''That's nice. 15 points in Europe is still standing. We are happy with that."

Before the game staged at Vodafone Park in Istanbul, Ajax had already booked their place in the Round of 16, while Besiktas needed a win to fancy their slim chances of scaling through.

With that result, this is the first time in history that a Dutch club has won its first five matches in the group stages of the Champions League.

Also, it was the first time in 25 years that a Dutch team has won their group.

Ajax welcome Sporting Lisbon to the Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam in their last Group C fixture billed for December 7.