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Bayern own goal gives Zenit advantage in UEFA semis

Bayern Munich defender Lucio headed into his own net to give Zenit St Petersburg a crucial away goal and leaving Thursday night's first-leg UEFA Cup semifinal a 1-1 draw.

Bayern own goal gives Zenit advantage in UEFA semis
Bayern's Miroslav Klose after the match. Photo: DPA

After the drama of Luca Toni’s 120th minute equaliser which sealed a 3-3 draw in Getafe in the quarter-finals to put the Germans in the last four, Bayern will now have their work cut out.

French midfielder Franck Ribery put his side ahead with an 18th minute penalty until Brazilian Lucio turned the ball into his own net in the second half.

“It will be difficult next week, but it is still possible,” admitted Bayern striker Lukas Podolski. “We don’t need to have any fear, because we are the better team. We played a decent game today, but we conceded a stupid goal.”

After winning the German Cup in Berlin by beating Borussia Dortmund last weekend – and the League Cup earlier in the season – Bayern are still aiming to lift their third cup this season, but Dick Advocaat’s side will give them a stiff test on home turf.

Bayern were without suspended Italian striker Toni, who has scored 10 UEFA Cup goals in the campaign so far including the two crucial efforts in extratime in Getafe which put his side in the semifinals.

It took just 18 minutes for Bayern to go ahead when midfielder Ze Roberto was fouled in the penalty area by St Petersburg’s Dutch midfielder Fernando Ricksen and Ribery converted the penalty.

After his first effort was saved, Ribery smashed home the rebound to give his side the lead over the Russian champions who humiliated Bayer Leverkusen 4-1 at home in the quarter-finals.

But the Russians were back on level terms on the hour mark when midfielder Viktor Fayzulin whipped in a cross and Bayern defender Lucio headed the ball past his own goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.

A thigh injury saw Kahn make way for Bayern’s reserve goalkeeper Michael Rensing on 66 minutes and his forlorn figure trudging off the pitch summed up the home side’s mood. With Kahn set to retire at the end of the season, he faces a race against

time to be fit for Thursday’s second leg while striker Miroslav Klose is also struggling after breaking his nose in the game.

“It is too early to know the gravity of Kahn’s injury,” said Hitzfeld.

Lucio went close on 78 minutes when he unleashed a fierce drive, but Russian goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev tipped the shot over the cross bar.

Having won Bayern the early penalty, Ze Roberto then kept his side in the game when he cleared a shot off the line after the ball trickled through Rensing’s legs.

Germany striker Lukas Podolski had a golden chance to snatch the winner in the 90th minute but his shot went just wide of the post. That allowed the Russians to finish the game the stronger leaving Bayern with a huge task in St Petersburg next Thursday.

MUNICH

Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.

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