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Rediff.com  » Sports » Bayern qualify with easy win over Maccabi

Bayern qualify with easy win over Maccabi

November 24, 2004 12:14 IST
Resurgent Bayern Munich swept to a 5-1 victory at home to Maccabi Tel-Aviv in Champions League Group C on Tuesday to secure their place in the knockout phase.

Bayern were 3-0 up by the end of the first half with a Claudio Pizarro rocket from 25 metres, a goal on the rebound from Hasan Salihamidzic and another long-range strike from Torsten Frings.

Maccabi's Barukh Dago converted a penalty early in the second half after being brought down by goalkeeper Oliver Kahn but Roy Makaay added two more goals for Bayern to make certain of second place in the group behind Juventus.

With one round of matches left the Italians have a maximum 15 points, after their 1-0 home win over Ajax Amsterdam, with Bayern on nine. Ajax and Maccabi have three points each and can still hope for third place and a UEFA Cup spot.

"We were just a little bit restless at the start of the game but now we can look ahead to playing our final match in Amsterdam without any pressure," said Bayern coach Felix Magath.

CONFIDENT BAYERN

Bayern, bristling with confidence after returning to the top of the Bundesliga for the first time in 18 months at the weekend, warmed up the crowd at a freezing Olympiastadion with a blistering first half display.

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The Bavarians had been unlucky to lose both their games 1-0 against group leaders Juventus but they quickly had their campaign back on track with Pizarro's goal.

The Peru forward, his place under threat from 20-year-old countryman Paolo Guerro, made the breakthrough with a perfectly struck, swerving right-foot shot from outside the box.

Salihamidzic almost made it 2-0 with a shot on the turn after Liran Strauber had missed a cross but the Maccabi keeper recovered to claw the ball away.

Bayern lost Bastian Schweinsteiger and Owen Hargreaves to injury in the first half but remained in complete control of the midfield, with the visitors unable to get the ball off them.

Substitute Mehmet Scholl had a weak shot deflected after an eye-catching passing move but from the resulting corner Bayern doubled their lead. Strauber blocked Pizarro's header but the ball struck Salihamidzic and went in at the far post.

Bayern rounded off the first half in style, as Frings made it 3-0 with a low shot that crept in at the far post.

Maccabi's only first-half chance was a long-range effort from fullback Salem Abo-Siam that brushed the top of the bar.

They did hint briefly at a comeback at the start of the second half, however.

Kahn did well to paw away a John Pantsil header only to reopen the debate about his patchy form by giving away a penalty with a mistimed dive at the feet of Dago.

The resulting penalty was safely put away but it only served to restore Bayern's appetite.

Makaay swept home the fourth goal in the 71st minute and the Dutch striker then finished calmly at the far post after Scholl and Michael Ballack combined in a stylish move down the left.

"Bayern led 3-0 early in the game and they were killing us," said Maccabi coach Nir Klinger. "But I think we played better in the second half.

"We're disappointed but that's football. There's another game, another day and we have to wait and see."

Kevin Fylan
Source:
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