Bayern brought down the curtain on their winter training camp in positive style on Monday evening with a second victory in their second mid-season friendly. Two days after defeating Al Jazira 3-2 in Abu Dhabi, the German champions travelled to Saudi Arabian metropolis Jeddah and registered a 3-1 success over Al Wheda, one of the kingdom’s oldest clubs.
A boisterous 12,000 crowd at the Prince Abdullah Alfaisal Bin Abdulaziz Stadium saw Franck Ribéry (31), Tim Borowski (35) and Landon Donovan (90+1) net for Bayern, the latter opening his scoring account for the Bavarians. “It was a good goal and it’ll give him a boost,“ commented coach Jürgen Klinsmann.
In a match staged as a farewell to long-serving Hatim Khiyani, the hosts scored a not undeserved goal of their own through Al-Kuwaikabi on 53 minutes. Much more worrying from a Bayern point of view was an injury to Mark van Bommel, the captain hobbling off with a knee problem after half an hour. “We hope it’s nothing serious,” Klinsmann observed.
After ten gruelling days of training, the coach tried out most of his players for a half of the match each, Miroslav Klose and Philipp Lahm bucking the trend with 90-minute appearances. Number two keeper Hans Jörg Butt sat out the game, with Lukas Podolski, Toni Kroos and Willy Sagnol absent injured.
Bayern began brightly against the home team, weakened by call-ups to the Gulf Cup tournament, and the Germans were soon creating chances, but Luca Toni, Lucio and Ribéry all fired wide in the opening quarter of an hour.
Bayern eased back midway through the first half and the top Saudi outfit launched a string of forays into their opponents’ final third. Breno’s late intervention prevented the opening goal, before Michael Rensing twice saved well to preserve a clean sheet.
However, FCB always look the more accomplished team and were rewarded after 31 minutes when Ribéry fired his side into the lead after a sublime solo run, earning tumultuous applause from the crowd. Tim Borowski doubled the advantage just four minute later with an excellent first-time drive from the edge of the box. Toni and Klose then both declined openings to put their side further clear before half-time.
With nine new faces in the Bayern second-half line-up, and a number of subs also on for Al Wheda, the sides took a while to settle after the restart. FCB continued to control the play without creating as much in front of goal. Donovan twice came close before heading against the crossbar on the hour, while Jose Sosa also placed a drive wide.
Al Wheda pulled one back on 53 minutes thanks to Al-Kuwaikabi's fine solo effort, but Bayern refused to be knocked out of their stride and continued their search for a decisive third. Martin Demichelis and Christian Lell both squandered promising openings in the final ten minutes.
The honour of rounding off the scoring fell ultimately to Donovan, controlling the ball with his back to goal before firing into the bottom corner of the net on the turn. Klose saw one final chance saved before the final whistle blew in Jeddah and the Bayern party set off to catch the plane home to Munich.
|Al Wheda - Bayern Munich 1-3 (H-T: 0-2)|
|Bayern Munich||Rensing (Kraft 46) - Lahm, Breno (Van Buyten 46), Lucio (Demichelis 46), Oddo (Lell 46) - Altintop (Schweinsteiger 46), Van Bommel (Ottl 29), Borowski (Zé Roberto 46), Ribéry (Sosa 46) - Toni (Donovan 46), Klose|
|Goals:||0-1 Ribéry (31), 0-2 Borowski (35), 1-2 Al-Kuwaikabi (53), 1-3 Donovan (90+1)|