Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The video assistant referee, or VAR, was used to overturn a goal for the first time in Champions League history, denying Ajax of an early lead on Real Madrid.
Madrid went on to win the first leg match in the round of 16 by a 2-1 margin Wednesday at Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam. Ajax's denial came in the 37th minute, when Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois first stonewalled a shot, blocking it with his lower body.
The ball deflected off of the keeper and bounced back into traffic. Ajax left back Nicolas Tagliafico headed the ball over the keeper to give his squad a 1-0 lead.
Referee Damir Skomina then consulted VAR to determine Dusan Tadic was offside during the goal and removed it from the scoreboard.
Karim Benzema would draw first blood in the 60th minute, giving the La Liga power a 1-0 lead. Hakin Ziyech scored the equalizer for Ajax 15 minutes later. Marco Asensio netted the winner for Madrid in the 87th minute.
"VAR in the UCL: In the 38th minute of the Ajax v Madrid first leg, Nicolás Tagliafico's headed goal was ruled out following a VAR review," the Champions League tweeted. "The referee identified that Tagliafico's team-mate Dušan Tadić was in an offside position and interfering with the goalkeeper, preventing him from playing or being able to play the ball -- as the header was being made. This was in line with VAR protocol and the goal was correctly overturned and a free-kick given for offside."
Madrid returns to La Liga play and a Copa del Rey semifinal match against Barcelona before the second leg of its Champions League matchup with Ajax on March 5 in Madrid.