Bayern Munich down Wolfsburg to reach cup final

March 20th, 2008 - 4:42 pm ICT by admin  

Munich, March 20 (DPA) Second-half goals from Franck Ribery and Miroslav Klose put Bayern Munich into the final of football’s German Cup with a 2-0 victory over VfL Wolfsburg Wednesday. The win sets up a final against Borussia Dortmund in Berlin April 19 and keeps the German league leaders on course for a title treble of league and UEFA Cup.

France midfielder Ribery struck in the 60th minute with a left-foot shot through the legs of keeper Diego Benaglio after he had been neatly put through by Klose.

Germany striker Klose doubled the score six minutes later from close range after Benaglio could only parry a shot from Lukas Podolski.

The victory followed two successive defeats for Bayern, in the UEFA Cup last week in a second-leg home tie with Anderlecht and a 2-0 loss in the league against lowly Energie Cottbus Saturday.

Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, in his last season with Bayern before becoming Switzerland national team coach, will now be facing a final against his old club Dortmund.

Hitzfeld reinstated Argentina defender Martin Demichelis, who had been suspended against Cottbus for refusing to play in midfield.

Bayern began as if they wanted to make amends for the defeat, with Ribery immediately heading wide when free in front of goal.

Further chances followed for Klose and defender Lucio, who both failed to find the net with headers, while midfielder Mark van Bommel had a long-range effort saved by Benaglio.

Wolfsburg, aiming for only a second cup final appearance in club history, threatened when they did get forward, and Christian Gentner twice screwed shots wide.

Oliver Kahn was tested twice by free-kicks in the first half from Brazilian midfielder Marcelinho, but the goalkeeper had little to do after the break as Bayern stamped their authority on the game.

“We had a black day against Cottbus and as a result deserved to lose against the bottom club. We wanted to rehabilitate ourselves,” Hitzfeld said.

“We knew Wolfsburg were the best team since the winter break and won away against Bremen and therefore we were very concentrated.”

Magath said: “It was a difficult draw for us, playing in Munich. We had too much respect from the great stadium and the great Bayern. We clearly deserved to lose.”

In Tuesday’s first semi-final, Borussia Dortmund downed second-division side Carl Zeiss Jena 3-0.

Bayern will be looking for their 14th cup title after winning the league and cup double under Magath in 2005 and 2006, while Dortmund’s last of two cup titles came in 1989.

Hitzfeld will be facing the team he coached to the Champions League title in 2001 before joining Bayern for his first spell at the club, although the Berlin final will not be his farewell match as the season continues into May.

“Playing in a final against a team which is still in my heart is something special for me. I am sure it will be an exciting final,” he said.

For Kahn, it could now be a record seventh final in his last season before retirement.

“After the last two games which didn’t go well it’s good to win,” he said.

“The first half was a bit difficult but the second half was better and we clearly dominated the game.”

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