Bayern goalkeeper 'sorry' for blunder
Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich apologized yesterday after his costly mistake led to the Germans bowing out of the UEFA Champions League’s semifinals at Real Madrid.
With the scores level just after the break in Tuesday’s second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, Ulreich’s blunder gifted Karim Benzema his second goal and Real the lead.
Ulreich somehow missed a back-pass from defender Corentin Tolisso, leaving Benzema to tap into an empty net.
Bayern fought back from the blow but fell short. Former Real midfielder James Rodriguez equalized, but the game finished 2-2 and the defending champion advanced 4-3 on aggregate.
The Germans lost to Spanish opposition in the knockout phase for the fifth year in a row.
“Words cannot describe how disappointed I am about exiting the Champions League,” wrote Ulreich on his Instagram page.
“We really wanted to go to the final, we did our best and then this unnecessary mistake happened — I cannot explain it.
“I’m sorry... for my team and for you fans.”
Ulreich sat alone on the field long after the final whistle.
Ulreich has been Bayern’s first-choice goalkeeper since Germany’s captain Manuel Neuer was injured last September.
His good performances helped Bayern secure a sixth straight Bundesliga title last month and after his social media post, teammates quickly offered support and comfort. Bayern fans also responded positively to his Instagram message.
“You saved our ass many times, Ulle,” replied Spanish international Javi Martinez.
“Head up! We win together, we lose together,” said defender Jerome Boateng, who missed the game due to injury.
“Heads up. We are a team,” wrote Colombian star Rodriguez.
Bayern’s hopes of winning the treble faded in Madrid, but it can still finish with the double as it faces Eintracht Frankfurt, whose head coach Niko Kovac will replace Bayern’s 73-year-old manager Jupp Heynckes next season, in the German Cup final on May 19 in Berlin.