Bayern Munich edges Borussia Dortmund in German Cup

Associated Press
2/27/2013 4:49:01 PM
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FRANKFURT, Germany -- Arjen Robben scored late in the first half for Bayern Munich to beat title-holder Borussia Dortmund 1-0 on Wednesday and reach the German Cup semifinals.

Dortmund beat Bayern 5-2 in last season's final and won its second consecutive Bundesliga championship. But this has been Bayern's season and it has a 17-point lead over Dortmund in the Bundesliga.

Robben curled in a shot from the edge of the penalty area after Dortmund lost possession, giving Bayern its first win over Dortmund after five straight losses and one draw.

"A very intense match, by both teams," Bayern's coach Jupp Heynckes said. "We got into the match really in the last 15 minutes of the first half, but we didn't have too many chances after the break."

Stuttgart also advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2007 with a comfortable 2-0 victory over second-division Bochum.

Dortmund was without central defender Mats Hummels, down with a cold, while Bayern missed suspended winger Franck Ribery.

Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc told Sky television before the game that Robert Lewandowski would leave at the end of the season but did not give the Poland striker's destination. Persistent rumours in the German media have linked him with a move to Bayern after the season. He still has a year on his contract and Dortmund appears willing to let him leave to be able to cash in.

Lewandowski had scored eight goals and provided the assists for three more in his previous nine German Cup appearances, but he had little impact on Wednesday's match.

Bayern started strongly, with Toni Kroos miskicking an effort at the far post and Javi Martinez collecting a chipped through ball from Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 38th -- only for Roman Weidenfeller to make a good save.

Robben scored after Marcel Schmelz lost possession to Philipp Lahm and the ball rolled to the Dutch winger, who used his left foot to drive it into the top corner.

"It was an important goal for me but also for the team," said Robben, who started for Ribery after coming off the bench for weeks. "In such a game, it often comes down to one scene and my goal was enough for the win."

Thomas Mueller nearly scored in the opening seconds of the second half for Bayern, but it was Dortmund that had the upper hand for most of the period.

"We didn't do what we'd set out to do. Our second half was a lot of better, but you have to play very well over 90 minutes to be able to beat Bayern," Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said.

After dominating domestic competitions in the past two seasons, Dortmund's only chance of winning a title this year is now the Champions League.

Dortmund's first shot at goal came in the 53rd minute but Manuel Neuer was equal to Ilkay Guendogan's effort, while Marco Reus narrowly missed with a low shot in the 58th.

Martinez threatened in the 71st from 20 metres (yards) out but Weidenfeller tipped the ball over. From the corner, Daniel van Buyten headed just over the crossbar.

In the 80th, Bayern's defender Dante rose to meet a corner but his header was cleared off the line by Mario Goetze. Dante's second attempt was then palmed over by Weidenfeller, who then denied Mario Mandzukic in the 87th.

Bayern Munich is the only team in the German Cup this season to have not yet conceded a goal.

Dortmund failed to score against Bayern for the first time in 13 games.

Meanwhile, Christian Gentner scored with a deflected shot in the 18th and Vedad Ibisevic notched his first goal of 2013 in the 83rd to secure Stuttgart's victory.

Bayern and Stuttgart, which won the Bundesliga in 2007, will join Wolfsburg and Freiburg in the semifinal draw on Sunday.

Arjen Robben (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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