London: Tottenham Hotspur are still "alive" in their UEFA Champions League semi-final despite losing 1-0 at home to Ajax in the first leg, said manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Donny van de Beek's goal gave the Dutch side victory over a lacklustre Spurs in north London on Tuesday.
"It's going to be difficult, but it's still open," said Pochettino. "It's about preparing for the second leg. We will try to win. It will be tough for us, but also tough for them."
History is against Spurs as only one of the 17 previous teams to lose a home first leg of a European Cup or UEFA Champions League semi-final has progressed into the final.
The Premier League side paid the price for a slow start, with midfielder Van de Beek scoring the only goal on 15 minutes.
In addition, Pochettino was keen to praise his players for reaching Spurs first semi-final in Europe's premier club competition since 1962.
Ajax took a 1-0 lead over hosts Tottenham in the first leg of the European Champions League semifinal thanks to a goal from Donny van de Beek here on Tuesday.
Van de Beek broke the deadlock in the 15th minute when he received a through pass from Hakim Ziyech and slot it past Hugo Lloris.
Tottenham, without injured Harry Kane and suspended Son Heung-min, nearly conceded a second 10 minutes later, but Van de Beek's shot was well saved by the French goalkeeper.
Mauricio Pochettino's side suffered another blow in the 32nd minute when defender Jan Vertonghen's face hit teammate Toby Alderweireld's head. He received treatment on the field and returned to action six minutes later but was forced to leave the pitch after only 40 seconds.
Tottenham's best chance came in the second half from Vertonghen's substitute Moussa Sissoko, whose drive from 35 minutes was just wide of the right post.
Ajax, who had beaten Real Madrid and Juventus en route to the last four, almost extended their lead to 2-0 10 minutes from time, but David Neres' shot hit the post and rebounded to safety.
It was the first time that Spurs failed to score in the Champions League in 21 matches. Ajax have won a Champions League semifinal match for the first time since 1996 when they beat Panathinaikos 3-0.
The second leg will be played at Amsterdam on Wednesday, May 8.