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FOOTBALL

Bayern Munich scores win despite losing captain van Bommel

German Cup holders Bayern Munich booked their semi-final berth on Wednesday with a comfortable 4-0 win at second division Alemannia Aachen as the Bavarian giants began life without Mark van Bommel.

Bayern Munich scores win despite losing captain van Bommel
Photo: DPA

After their Dutch captain’s shock exit on Tuesday, when he signed for AC Milan until the end of the season, Germany defender Philipp Lahm took over the skipper’s armband as Bayern ran riot.

“We should have won this game a bit sooner, we certainly had our chances in the first half,” said goal-scorer Mario Gomez. “You have to give Aachen respect, they never stopped trying to play football, but we deserved the win.”

Bayern took their revenge after Aachen fans vandalised the Munich team coach’s luxury car, parked at the Tivoli Stadium, by spraying their team name down the side.

Goals by Germany stars Gomez and Thomas Müller put Bayern in full control before Dutch winger Arjen Robben scored a late fourth goal to put Munich in the last four.

“It was a bit harder than the scoreline suggests, we had our chances, but we didn’t always take them in the first-half,” said Robben, who came off the bench despite suffering from a cold.

The Dutchman wished his compatriot van Bommel all the best after his sudden departure.

“I understand why Mark left Bayern, I wish him well, we talked about the situation a few times and he had his reasons,” said Robben. “He was an important player to us, now we have to get on with life without him.”

Bayern were rarely tested and Gomez opened the scoring on 26 minutes with his 24th goal in all competitions for the German giants this season when he was left unmarked for an easy header.

Müller netted twice in the 75th and 80th minutes to kill off Aachen’s challenge and with time almost up, Robben slammed home his shot on 88 minutes having come off the bench just a quarter of an hour before.

After missing the first half of the season with a leg injury, Robben has now scored two goals in two games, also netting in Saturday’s 5-1 rout of Kaiserslautern in the Bundesliga.

Earlier Hoffenheim’s former Liverpool striker Ryan Babel had a debut to forget as his new side were dumped out of the German Cup 1-0 by second-division Energie Cottbus in the quarter-finals.

Just a day after signing a two year contract for a fee of €7 million Babel had his debut wrecked when Cottbus’ Chinese midfielder Jiayi Shao came off the bench to score a late winner.

Dutch forward Babel played the entire 90 minutes, but failed to trouble the Cottbus defence as the hosts claimed a notable scalp.

The 30-year-old Shao, who has won 47 caps for China, came off the bench with a little over 20 minutes left and netted an 84th-minute winner to break Hoffenheim hearts.

Cottbus were joined by Second Division rivals Duisburg, who eliminated Bundesliga side Kaiserslautern with a shock 2-0 victory.

Duisburg were always in control and scored either side of half-time to book their place in the last four.

On Tuesday, Bundesliga side Schalke booked their semi-final berth when teenager Julian Draxler came off the bench to score the winner in time added on and seal a 3-2 win over Nuremberg with virtually the last kick of the game.

AFP/ka

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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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