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Football

Kahn's blunder gifts Madrid a draw

Zidane, right, Hargreaves
Madrid's Zidane, right, clashes with Bayern's Owen Hargreaves.

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MUNICH, Germany -- A mistake from Bayern Munich goalkeeper Oliver Kahn gifted Real Madrid a late equalizer as their Champions League second round first leg clash finished 1-1.

Visitors Real looked to be heading for defeat when Dutch striker Roy Makaay headed them in front with 15 minutes left.

But eight minutes later Kahn allowed a freekick from Roberto Carlos to bounce under his body into the net.

"We can be proud of our performance," said Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.

"We created many chances and should have been 2-0 or 3-0 ahead. It's all quite regrettable and just fate for Oliver Kahn. He's been excellent in recent weeks. It's bitter."

Bayern were clearly the better side in the 15th European clash between two of the continent's most successful clubs.

However, Madrid had lost on all seven of their previous visits to the Olympic Stadium and now hold the slight advantage of an away goal going into the second leg on March 10.

Difficult game

"It was a very difficult game and Bayern played extremely well," said Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz.

"You could say I am more satisfied with the result than with our performance but Bayern made it really hard for us and we did fight."

The first half was almost all Bayern as they refused to give Real's team of stars any time to settle in an aggressive midfield.

With his side defending nervously, Madrid keeper Iker Casillas was soon called into action, keeping out a low drive from Makaay on 12 minutes and intercepting a long range strike from Ze Roberto 12 minutes later.

David Beckham went close for the Spaniards shortly after the break, curling a shot just over the bar, but Bayern were soon back on top and Makaay and Michael Ballack both went close.

Makaay finally broke the deadlock on 75 minutes when he converted a superb cross from Claudio Pizarro.

Bayern playmaker Ballack refused to blame Kahn for the equalizer and said Bayern could advance with a similar performance at the Bernabeu.

"I think we played great a great match. We got countless scoring chances but weren't rewarded in the end, just punished," said Ballack.

"If we can come up with a performance like this again I'm sure we'll advance. It's only unfortunate we weren't rewarded for this. But nothing's been decided yet.

"That happens in football," the Germany midfielder said of Kahn's mistake. "We win and lose as a team. He doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for him. He'll come up with another great match."


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