Friday, April 11, 2008

This Was Exciting Soccer

Yesterday in the UEFA Cup, Getafe fans in Madrid, Spain were less than a minute from glory, beating one of the most storied clubs in Eurpoean football, Bayern Munich, in the quarter finals of the UEFA cup.

Getafe played most of the match with ten men after after Ruben Gutierrez de la Red was shown the red card after fouling Bayern's Miroslav Klose as Klose approached the goal. The teams were tied at the end of regulation in the second leg. Within three minutes of the start of extra time, Getafe's Francisco Casquero and Nobrega Braulio each scored a goal, putting the host team in the driver's seat. All they needed to do was hold on for 27 more minutes.

Thinks got hairy in the last five minutes when Bayern's big striker Luca Toni scored on a poorly handled ball by the Getafe keeper, Roberto Abbondanzieri.

In the last minute of play, Bayern threw everyone forward, including goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. A ball from the right side of the midfield third was lofted to the top of the box, where Kahn got a touch on the ball that squirted out to the left side. The ball was crossed again in toward the six yard box where Luca Toni hammered a header into the ground and it bounced up into the roof of the goal---with about 15 seconds left in the match.

Although the score was tied, Bayern win on away goals. A fantastic end to the semi-final. Abbondanzieri at the end of the match was in tears. He might never have been able to stop Toni final header, but he likely cost the match with his bumbled handling of the cross in the 115th minute.

That was exciting football. Better than some of the Champions Leauge matches of late.

No comments: