Football: Basler's wonder goal takes Bayern to Barcelona

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The Independent Online
Bayern Munich 1 Dynamo Kiev 0 Bayern win 4-3 on aggregate

BAYERN MUNICH, who came back from 3-1 down in the first leg, completed their recovery last night when they beat Dynamo Kiev 1-0 to reach the European Cup final in Barcelona.

Mario Basler scored the only goal of the game 10 minutes before the end of a first half in which the Ukrainian champions made the early running before running out of ideas.

Bayern, three times the European champions in the 1970s, went through 4-3 on aggregate to their first final in the Continent's premier club competition since 1987, when they lost to Porto.

The men from Munich, who are bidding to win their own treble of league, cup and European Cup, had expected a tough time against Dynamo, who had grown in stature throughout the tournament, but the two late goals they conceded in the first leg seemed to leave the Ukrainians' morale fragile.

Bayern had to withstand a whirlwind start by Dynamo, who made their intentions known from the kick-off by twice almost snatching the lead. On both occasions, the home goalkeeper Oliver Kahn kept his team in the game, pushing away Valentin Belkevich's ferocious shot with an outstretched arm and then somehow tipping Alexander Khatskevich's header over the bar following a corner.

Inevitably, however, as they committed themselves to attack, Kiev always looked vulnerable at the back, and four times Bayern came close in the opening half hour, Basler enjoying their best effort with a shot that almost burst the side netting.

Basler's next attempt, on 35 minutes, produced the goal. Cutting in from the right, he skipped past two tackles and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the corner off the far post.

With their dangerous strikers, Andriy Shevchenko and Serhiy Rebrov, well marked by the Bayern defence, Kiev were struggling to make an attacking impact and the second half began with Bayern still on top.

They should have wrapped the game up twice within 10 minutes of the re- start. Alexander Zickler was the culprit on both occasions, screwing his first shot wide with only the goalkeeper to beat and then firing over from close range.

Bayern took off Carsten Jancker and Zickler and replaced them with Hasan Salihamidzic and the Iranian, Ali Daei. With his first touch Daei could have scored, only for the Kiev goalkeeper to bring off a reflex save.

It was all too much for Dynamo. How they must have rued allowing the Germans back into the match two weeks ago, when they could have won by five or six goals.

Shevchenko's only worthwhile effort of the night, a late strike from the edge of the box, was hit straight at Kahn. At the final whistle Bayern's ecstatic players did a lap of honour, cheered on by their jubilant fans, while Kiev traipsed dejectedly to the dressing-rooms.

Basler was ecstatic at scoring the winner, having threatened to quit the game a few days previously because he felt so low. "I'm pleased for him," said the Bayern coach, Ottmar Hitzfeld. "He's had a difficult time but he scored a dream goal."

Hitzfeld was asked about next month's final against Manchester United. "They're an old adversary. We've had two great games with them already this season," he said, "and I'm sure we'll have another. I'm looking forward to playing them again because we are two attacking teams. I would say it's an even contest."

Bayern Munich (3-5-2): Kahn; Babbel, Kuffour, Basler; Matthaus, Effenberg, Jeremies, Linke, Tarnat (Fink, 84); Zickler (Salihamidzic, 76), Jancker (Daei, 76).

Dynamo Kiev (4-4-2): Shovkovsky; Luzhny, Vaschuk, Kaladze, Holovko; Husin (Kardash, 81), Kosovsky, Khatskevich, Belkevich; Rebrov, Shevchenko.

Referee: V M Melo Pereira (Portugal).