Both teams progressed through four rounds to reach the final. Ajax's matches were generally comfortable victories. They won all of their ties by at least two goals, except for their 5–1 aggregate victory against Swiss team Basel in the second round. Panathinaikos matches were close affairs, with the exception of their 7–1 aggregate victory against Jeunesse Esch of Luxembourg in the first round. Their quarter-final and semi-final victories were both won via the away goals rule.
Watched by a crowd of 83,179, Ajax took the lead in the 5th minute when Dick van Dijk scored. Panathinaikos were unable to find an equaliser and Ajax extended their lead in the 87th minute when a shot by Arie Haan deflected off defender Anthimos Kapsis and went into the Panathinaikos goal. Ajax won the match 2–0 to win the European Cup for the first time.