Haunted Kahn's late fumble hands the advantage to Real

Bayern Munich 1 Real Madrid 1
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The Independent Football

For 83 minutes last night, a freezing winter's evening in Bavaria seemed a world away from a sweltering summer one in Yokohama 20 months ago. Then Roberto Carlos lined up a free-kick and the ghosts came back to haunt Oliver Kahn.

In Japan the previously impregnable Kahn had spilled a shot from Rivaldo and handed Ronaldo, and Brazil, the World Cup. Now it was another Brazilian's shot which squirmed away from his grasp, squirrelling under his body and rolling apologetically into the goal.

For 83 minutes Bayern Munich had unexpectedly dominated Real Madrid and, but for poor finishing and the goalkeeping of Iker Casillas, would have had more than Roy Makaay's 75th-minute goal to show for it. They would, indeed, have been looking forward to the second leg of this Champions' League second-round tie with the confidence of men who hold an unbridgeable advantage.

Instead they will enter the Santiago Bernabeu in two weeks knowing they must score at least once to have any chance of reaching the quarter-finals. After the dominance they exerted last night, it is a cruel fate.

Before last night's match Bayern had been fearful, so much so that they claimed they had enlisted the assistance of Jack Frost. The snow was banked around the pitch and coated the spiderweb roof, illustrating that Munich, even by Bavarian standards, is enduring a cold snap. "We ordered the weather," their coach, Ottmar Hitzfeld, said. "The southerners don't like playing in the snow but we are used to it." This seemed fanciful even if, with the mercury at seven degrees below and dropping, it was certainly chilly. But to judge from Ronaldo, who seemed to be wearing his entire wardrobe to keep warm, it had an impact.

Even in warmer climes Real have tended to start matches slowly this season, unleashing their full attacking range only when roused. This suited Bayern's habit of starting European home matches quickly, seeking an early goal before closing the game down. The question their fans were asking, as they were bussed in from across Germany, was whether they had the confidence to commit themselves to such an approach against Real.

It was soon clear that they did, the German champions pushing forward to win a series of set-pieces, one of which Roberto Carlos nearly turned into his own net. Casillas was also the first goalkeeper into action, saving low to his left from Roy Makaay.

Real managed a trio of corners in response, taken to little effect by David Beckham amid a welter of snowballs. Beckham went on to have quiet match, overshadowed by his opposing number 23, Owen Hargreaves. The England captain's most vigorous involvement was to grab Martin Demichelis, an Argentinian, after Roberto Carlos had been fouled.

With Zinedine Zidane equally muted, Bayern commanded the midfield but Claudio Pizarro, twice, and Ze Roberto spurned good chances. Hargreaves hit the target after 30 minutes but his fierce drive was clutched at the second attempt by Casillas.

Real did at least finish the half with a flourish, Roberto Carlos providing Ronaldo with their first sight of goal. Weighed down by his clothes, the Brazilian's shot was weak and Kahn saved easily. The spectre of Yokohama seemed to be banished.

Real lingered longest over the dressing-room radiators at half-time, leaving their hosts cooling outside before emerging. It seemed to get their blood flowing as Zidane was booked for tripping Ze Roberto. Beckham, from a short corner routine, curled a shot just over the bar.

Real's fire cooled and Bayern pressed again. Makaay, from Ze Roberto's cross, should have scored but, unmarked, headed wide. Pizarro and Michael Ballack went close with long shots before Hasan Salihamidzic, after a one-two with Pizarro, brought another save from Casillas.

Real were unable to build attacks, finding the Bayern midfield in their faces whenever they had possession. Bayern, though, were equally frustrated at being unable to make their superiority pay and the match simmered nastily. Finally Real's charitable defence offered up a chance too many. Pizarro was released on the right and, with Raul Bravo's challenge ineffectual, picked out Makaay in the centre. This time he headed firmly past Casillas.

This precious lead lasted less than 10 minutes as, from 30 yards out, Roberto Carlos' innocuous free-kick found Kahn fumbling again. "It's bitter for Kahn, but that's destiny," Hitzfeld said. The Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann's recent claim that he should replace Kahn in the Germany team suddenly seemed much more justified.

Bayern Munich (4-4-2): Kahn; Sagnol, Kuffour, Kovac, Lizarazu (Salihamidzic, 46); Hargreaves, Ballack, Demichelis (Jeremies, 90), Ze Roberto; Makaay, Pizarro (Santa Cruz, 76). Substitutes not used: Rensing (gk), Linke, Schweinsteiger, Trochowski.

Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Salgado, Helgura, Raul Bravo, Roberto Carlos; Beckham, Guti; Luis Figo, Raul, Zidane; Ronaldo (Solari, 90). Substitutes not used: Cesar (gk), Portillo, Cambiasso, Pavon, Borja, Alvaro.

Referee: T Hauge (Norway).

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