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Kahn takes a final bow
May 28, 2008 00:30 IST
Legendary German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn took his final bow from competitive soccer before a capacity 1.20 lakh crowd at Yuva [Images] Bharati Krirangan as Bayern Munich decimated Mohun Bagan 3-0 in a friendly in Kolkata on Tuesday.
Kahn, who turns 40 next month, handed over the gloves to youngster Michael Rensing in the 55th minute of the match and took a seat in the reserve bench as the entire stadium stood up to give a sentimental farewell to one of the best goalkeepers of contemporary soccer, thousands of miles away from his home.
"It is a very special moment for me. Thank you for the great night," the golden ball winner of the 2002 World Cup said during the half time break as he was showered with gifts by match organiser Bengal Peerless, Mohun Bagan and the Indian Footbal Association.
The match lacked the spark with the far too superior Bayern playing a percentage game, enough for them to end their post season Asian tour with emphatic scoreline.
Zanschlaudraff, shot a brace while Brazilian Ze Roberto netted one for the winners who led 2-0 at lemon time.
However, the spirit of the match, which had aroused keen interest worldwide, as it marked Kahn's swan song, was somewhat marred when Bayern's Breno and substitute Branco Cardozo of Bagan were red carded for unseemly behaviour by referee Subrata Sarkar eight minutes from the final whistle.
After having a measure of their opponents in the first few minutes, Bayern established midfield control with medio Mark Van Bommel and Ze Roberto dictating terms on their rivals.
The fancied outfit shot into the lead in the 18th minute thorough a freak goal.
Schlaudraff cut into the box, looking dangerous, and a desperate Anand Vasan tried to thwart him with a close tackle, but only managed a deflection back to the German, who shot home.
Bayern doubled the lead 19 minutes later from a set piece. Ze Roberto let loose a curling left-footed free kick which foxed the wall and entered the net to the left of Bagan goalie Sangram Mukherjee who seemed to be totally clueless.
The insurance goal came in the 52nd minute when Schlaudraff finished off a measured pass from upfronter Christian Lell.
Bayern held sway, and could have returned home with a bigger margin but for Sangram, who brought off a couple of good saves.
In the 22nd minute, Sangram thwarted a Schlaudraff effort, and 10 minutes later flung himself in the air to punch out from harms way a thumping Roberto shot.
The second half saw Bagan trying to carry out raids into the rival territory, but the Bayern defence gave little away.
The closest Bagan came to making a dent in the scoreline was when Lal Kamal Bhowmick's 80th minute long ranger grazed the upright and went away.
But the second half would be remembered more for the rough play and frayed tempers among the players of the both sides.
Things turned ugly in the 82nd minute when Branco Cardozo, who substituted Lalampuiya in the 64th minute, brought down Brazilian defender Breno with a tackle from behind.
The Brazilian under-20 captain lost his cool, and immediately got up to kick the Bagan player, and the two soon came to blows. The other players rushed in, and the referee managed to separate the two after much effort.
The match was halted for a short while as the officials of both sides came to the ground and brought the situation under control after both the offenders were given marching orders.