After surrendering a two-goal lead, Bayern Munich won their Telekom Cup semifinal in penalties, beating Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-2 (5-4).
Robert Lewandowski and Franck Ribéry scored for Bayern, both showing fantastic individual skill to plop the ball in the back of the net. Holger Badstuber and Javi Martínez surrendered penalties – Badstuber on a handball, Martínez on a foul – to allow Max Kruse to get the equalizer from the spot.
Lewandowski's goal for Bayern Munich. Amazing. https://t.co/BLD7IGYbPg— Uber Football Fact (@UberFootFact) July 26, 2014
After Janis Blaswich saved Rafinha's penalty to keep the shutout even at 3-3, Tom Starke made an acrobatic save on Fohlen fullback Oscar Wendt to keep the competition going. Julian Korb then hit the top of the crossbar after Javi Martínez sunk his penalty to give Bayern the victory.
Starke appeared in control of his penalty area throughout the 60 minutes, confidently coming off his line and ricocheting menacing shots wayward in crucial positions. With Manuel Neuer resting after Germany's victory in the World Cup, Starke has gotten an opportunity to play three consecutive full shifts for the first time in his Bayern career.
Pep Guardiola fielded the most first team players he has all preseason, with Giancula Gaudino the only youth player in the starting XI. His formation appeared to have five defenders, with David Alaba mostly sitting deep in midfield.
Sebastian Rode was the most active player on the park, playing box-to-box and linking up the play to both flanks. It was his run and shot, in fact, that set up Lewandowski's rainbow strike in the first half. Bayern were rather stagnant overall, though, and Mönchengladbach nearly got in behind a few times, one of which lead André Hahn to beat Martínez for the second penalty.
Bayern's bench was filled with reserve players, who played yesterday against TSV Buchbach, so only Pierre Emile-Højbjerg and Lukas Scholl came on in the second half. They gave veterans Ribéry (back) and Claudio Pizarro (ankle) scheduled rest in accordance with their respective injury recoveries.
With the victory, Bayern advances to its second consecutive Telekom Cup final. Their match was the second game that went to penalties on the day, VfL Wolfsburg beating Hamburg SV 5-4 after a scoreless regulation. Hamburg and Mönchengladbach will play in the third-place match at 10:30 PM EDT tomorrow before Bayern takes on Wolfsburg at 12:15 PM EDT.