Both teams progressed through four rounds to reach the final. Ajax comfortably won all of their ties by 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. 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, giving Ajax its first European Cup victory by a score of 2-0.