Mon, Aug 27, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Bayern Munich open campaign with win

AFP, BERLIN

Bayern Munich opened their German league campaign with a comfortable 3-0 win at promoted SpVgg Greuther Fuerth on Saturday on the opening weekend of the Bundesliga’s 50th season.

Fuerth were making their Bundesliga debut and held their famous Bavarian neighbors for most of the first half, until their defense finally cracked as goals from Thomas Mueller, Mario Mandzukic and Arjen Robben secured the win.

“In the first half, there were no surprises or changes in tempo in our game,” said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, who also rejected media reports he would quit at the end of the season when his contract expires.

“We improved in the second-half where we were dominant, very clever and very smart. The team has shown we want to be successful this season,” he added.

Bayern are still smarting after Borussia Dortmund won last season’s Bundesliga title, while Munich lost both the German Cup and Champions League finals.

Bayern opened the scoring in Fuerth when new signing Dante headed down from a corner and although defender Heinrich Schmidtgal cleared off the line, Germany star Mueller was on hand to stab home.

Bayern doubled their lead in the 58th minute when Robben attacked the Fuerth defense on the right and after his shot was parried by Max Gruen, Mandzukic was on hand to head home and make it 2-0.

Since signing from VfL Wolfsburg, the Croatia striker has scored four goals in three games for Bayern, including two in Monday’s 4-0 German Cup first-round win at Jahn Regensburg.

Robben hit the third 12 minutes from time with a spectacular shot from the left side of the goal that curled inside the near post from a tight angle after his shot clipped the boot of defender Thomas Kleine.

There was drama on Saturday night as Wolfburg claimed a late a 1-0 victory over VfB Stuttgart.

First Wolves goalkeeper Diego Benaglio saved a penalty from Stuttgart striker Vedad Ibisevic in the 88th minute, then Wolfsburg’s 23-year-old Dutch forward Bas Dost headed the 90th-minute winner on his Bundesliga debut.

Promoted Eintracht Frankfurt got their season off to a great start as they came from behind for a 2-1 win at home to Bayer 04 Leverkusen thanks to an equalizer from Stefan Aigner and a late header from Martin Lanig.

Borussia Moenchengladbach responded after their home defeat by Dynamo Kiev in Tuesday’s Champions League play-off first leg with a 2-1 victory at home to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

Striker Mike Hanke headed home on 33 minutes, only for Hoffenheim’s Roberto Firmino to equalize with a header on 66 minutes. Moenchengladbach’s Venezuela midfielder Juan Arango unleashed a spectacular free-kick on 79 minutes to claim the points.

Hamburg SV’s season got off to a bad start with a 1-0 defeat at home to Nuremberg, whose new signing Hanno Balitsch, freshly arrived from Leverkusen, grabbed the winner 22 minutes from time.

Striker Dani Schahin had an afternoon to remember with both second-half goals for promoted Fortuna Duesseldorf in their 2-0 win at Augsburg.

In the afternoon’s other game, SC Freiburg were held to a 1-1 draw at home to FSV Mainz 05.

Schalke 04 were to play at home against Hanover 96 yesterday, while defending champions Borussia Dortmund kicked off the new campaign with a 2-1 home win over Werder Bremen on Friday, thanks to goals from Germany stars Marco Reus and Mario Goetze.

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