Created on 19-11-2009 at 00:00 AM
Seven Bayern stars represented their countries on Wednesday, although the only man in competitive action was Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, as Ukraine met Greece in a 2010 World Cup qualifying play-off. However, the defensive midfielder’s dream of a second consecutive trip to the global showdown turned into a nightmare as Otto Rehhagel’s side won 1-0 on the night following a goalless draw in Athens at the weekend.
Tymoshchuk and his men started the second leg as favourites to progress, but the 31,648 full house at the Donbass Arena in Donezk was stunned into silence when Dimitrios Salpingidis struck what proved the match-winning goal after half an hour. The home team, with FCB man Tymo completing the full 90 minutes, poured forward in search of an equaliser but lacked inspiration and wit against the Greeks’ customarily strong rearguard.
Armband for Lahm
The other Munich stars were only in friendly action, although Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gomez faced arguably the hardest task of all. Three days after a moving and emotional funeral service for deceased Germany keeper Robert Enke, the Bayern trio and their national team-mates took the first step back towards normality. Watched by a 33,015 crowd in Gelsenkirchen, Joachim Löw’s side drew 2-2 with Cote d’Ivoire. Former Munich man Lukas Podolski opened the scoring on 11 minutes, and then levelled in the third minute of stoppage time after Emmanuel Eboué and Seydou Doumbia had put the visitors 2-1 up.