Bayern Munich controlled possession for the majority of the match and advanced to the finals of the Audi Cup with a 2-0 win over Sao Paulo.
While there were eight goals scored in the first half of the early contest, the second one featured a much more defensive struggle with the two sides scoreless though 45 minutes.
Of course, this does not mean that the first half lacked excitement. Bayern dominated possession and had a number of outstanding opportunities near the goal. However, Rogerio Ceni was excellent in net for Sao Paulo and his defense kept the ball out of the net.
Bayern Munich had over 70 percent possession in the first half, including a lot of it in the final third. In reality, it was surprising that there was any grass left on the pitch inside the box.
Unfortunately, that did not seem to make an impact on the score, as this fan account described:
HT: 0-0. Bayern attacking and playing exciting football, the only thing missing is a goal.— Bavarian Tweets (@BavarianTweets) July 31, 2013
The official club account also had a good look at how good some of the chances were, including this one from David Alaba:
Still, the match remained scoreless until the opening minutes of the second half. In the 55th minute, Arjen Robben played a cross to the far post, and Mario Mandzukic was there to flick it in with his right foot.
The Twitter account KYCK Clips provided a look at the goal, while also making sure the striker was not offside:
After more blocked shots, Mitchell Weiser helped the side double the lead in the 86th minute. Xherdan Shaqiri fired the ball off the post, and Weiser was in perfect position to get the rebound into the net.
Shortly after, Sao Paulo had a chance to cut the lead in half with a penalty shot, which was taken by the goalkeeper Ceni. However, Manuel Neuer made an excellent save, which was captured by the club's Twitter account:
That was enough to seal the victory for the Bundesliga club, who controlled the match and left Sao Paulo no chance to win. Although more goals would have been nice, Bayern Munich did enough to win against a tough defense.
The squad will hope to continue this strong effort in its coming matches.
Arjen Robben, Bayern Munich: A
Throughout the first half, Arjen Robben was the most active player on the pitch. He was taking a lot of shots and was creating a number of excellent opportunities for his teammates.
Like the rest of his squad, the only thing that was missing was a goal.
Fortunately, he helped create a score before coming off when he played a nice cross that was almost impossible to defend. The veteran only made 11 starts last year, but the way he is playing this preseason should allow him to get more time this season.
Mario Mandzukic, Bayern Munich: A
After coming in after halftime, Mandzukic was probably the best offensive player in the match. The striker provided a lot of energy that made it difficult for the opposing squad to keep up.
The club's leading scorer last season put Bayern on the board with a goal in the 55th minute, but he stayed active after that and gave himself more chances.
Although he had little to prove in this match, it is clear that he will be a big part of the squad's success this season.
Rogerio Ceni, Sao Paulo: A+
With almost anyone else in net, the score could have been 5-0 or worse in favor of the home team. Bayern had a lot of shots on goal in each half, but Ceni made sure to keep them out of the net.
Against an outstanding offensive attack like this, a lesser player would simply fold and give up a lot of goals. Instead, the veteran stepped up and had one of the best individual performances of the match.
Really the only thing he did wrong was miss a penalty kick, although it is hard to blame that on him.
Osvaldo, Sao Paulo, C
After scoring eight goals in Brasileirao a year ago, Osvaldo has been held scoreless in 2013. This inability to get on the board carried over into this match as well.
The forward had few touches in the contest, and when he did get the ball he did very little with it. Aside from a few corner kicks, Bayern was rarely in trouble on the defensive end.
Going forward, Osvaldo needs to be someone who can carry the club on the offensive side of the ball.
Bayern Munich will advance to the final of the Audi Cup where it will face Manchester City on August 1. Sao Paulo will hope for a better result against AC Milan in the consolation match.
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