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Rediff.com  » Sports » Bayern seal fifth domestic double

Bayern seal fifth domestic double

May 29, 2005 11:36 IST

German champions Bayern Munich completed their fifth domestic double in coach Felix Magath's first season in charge with a deserved 2-1 defeat of Schalke 04 in the German Cup final on Saturday.

Bayern settled a score with Schalke, their closest rivals for the German title who had beaten them home and away in the league, while Magath became only the second Bayern coach to achieve a double in his first season in charge.

Bayern's winner was a simple 76th minute tap-in for substitute Hasan Salihamidzic but television replays showed the Bosnian midfielder was clearly offside when Roy Makaay fed him.

"It's great to win the cup every time," said midfielder Michael Ballack. "It's an amazing atmosphere. It was a great battle from both teams. I think we deserved to win."

Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick added: "Bayern had more chances than we did. It's unfortunate that the match was decided by an offside goal. But all in all the victory was deserved."

Dutch striker Makaay was goalscorer as well as provider in a game overshadowed by a number of debatable decisions on a sultry evening in the German capital.

He opened Bayern's account after 42 minutes when he pounced on a rebound after Ze Roberto hit the post, although he needed a second attempt after Marcelo Bordon blocked his first effort.

Schalke got their own slice of luck just three minutes later, however, when they equalised with a debatable penalty converted by Brazilian Lincoln on the stroke of halftime.

His compatriot Ailton earned the spot kick when he went down after going for the ball with Bayern's Willy Sagnol. The referee, after some deliberation, finally pointed to the spot.

UNLUCKY BAYERN

Bayern were also unlucky to have a first half strike from Claudio Pizarro ruled out for offside even though the Peruvian striker seemed to be in line with the last defender.

Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann will have been delighted with his captain, Michael Ballack, who was a constant danger and just a boot length away from opening Bayern's account.

Young Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger must have also impressed Klinsmann, who was watching from the stands, while Peru's Pizarro was a constant danger on the flanks.

Schalke's best player was midfielder Lincoln, who controlled most of their attacking moves, although few of them were dangerous enough to test Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.

Fans of Schalke, a team from the once mighty steel and mining town of Gelsenkirchen in the industrial Ruhr valley, dominated the 75,000 capacity crowd.

However they will leave reflecting on a disappointing end to a promising season in which they briefly led the Bundesliga and beat Bayern home and away.

Schalke coach Rangnick was philosophical, saying. "We went from 15th to second and were in first place for a number of weeks. We're clearly the number two team behind Bayern and it was a great season."

Bayern coach Magath agreed. "We played consistently at a high level all season. And at the end of the season we showed we were able to play an entire season like that," he said.

Bayern won the Bundesliga with 77 points from 34 matches ahead of Schalke who finished runners-up on 63 points.

The renovated 1936 Olympic stadium will host the World Cup final next year, by which time the on-pitch sprinklers that halted play briefly in the second half should be fixed.

Source:
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