Vineet Sharma/Zeenews Sports
New Delhi: The entire stadium roared for Baichung Bhutia as he walked off the field wearing Indian colours for the last time in the 84th minute of the match.
In the end, India lost 0-4 to Bayern Munich after putting up a spirited fightback, especially in the second half, where they did not allow the formidable opponents to score a single goal.
As the farewell match ended with many fans giving a teary goodbye to Bhutia, curtains came down on the most celebrated Indian footballer’s career and another one raised over the legacy that he left behind for the nation, being the poster boy of football in the nation since 1995.
The Farewell Match- As It Happened
A free kick in the 90th minute could not be converted into a goal for India as they were left goalless in the evening despite a few wild attempts to make the impossible happen.
India had got their first corner of the match in the 48th minute but it did not help their cause much, apart from cheering the crowd. Football star Frank Ribery came onto the field in the 46th minute with a huge cheer from the crowd.
India on the other hand, substituted goalkeeper Karanjit Singh with Subhasish Roychowdhury. India had just one goal attempts to Bayern’s 15 by the 53rd minute and that one statistic told a bigger tale about the approach of the two outfits.
The Indians were a bit too offensive in their approach at certain junctures. Baldeep Jr. Singh was yellow carded in the 52nd minute for his rather aggressive tackle that was just about the size of being futile.
India were lagging 0-4 behind Bayern Munich at half time as Bhutia was seen running for an opportunity against the formidable opponents. Fans were however, relieved as Bhutia’s calves didn’t burn out in his last outing as he looked all set to play the full length of the match.
In the first half, India were mauled by the German giants as they cut the Indian defence to ribbons again in the 37th minute. Thomas Muller netted his second goal of the evening as if it was net practise for him. Soon after in the 42nd minute, Bastian Schweinsteiger took the tally to 4-0 for Bayern.
Goalkeeper Karanjit Singh was off the mark on the occasion and paid the heavy price.
Prior to this, Bayern Munich had showed their class as they were up by two goals in less than thirty minutes against India. The man to fire in the second goal was Thomas Muller. (Goal 2- 29th minute)
He had looked dangerous from the first minute and was setting himself up for the goal right from the word go and Robben crossed it to him at the right moment.
Baichung Bhutia tried a very long goal in the 26th minute to equalise but the conviction could not materialize the ball went for a 30 yard long range effort and over the bar.
Bayern fired the first goal in the 14th minute as Mario Gomez was on target against a nervy Indian defence which had failed to get their act together in the first leg of the game.
Schweinsteiger had almost found an opportunity in the fourth minute but the Indian defenders came good. The eighth minute again saw action from Bayern as Robben almost netted one but goalkeeper Karanjit Singh thwarted the effort.
The epic match started with India’s most popular footballer, Baichung Bhutia donning the national colours one last time, taking on German giants Bayern Munich in his farewell exhibition match.
This is Bayern Munich's 5th visit to India but it was for the first time they were playing against the national Team. Baichung was also presented a Bayern jersey with number 15 written and signed by all Bayern players on the occasion.
The capital`s most high-profile football match, being played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, saw a bevy of international stars such as Philipp Lahm, Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller and Mario Gomez in the Bayern Munich ranks.
The atmosphere was electric as the players took to the field with the Delhi crowd turning out in large numbers to cheer their football heroes.
It is a battle of David and Goliath with the German Giants having a clear edge but the Indian outfit would also like to take back some significant pointers home for their future engagements at the highest level.
FC Bayern: Neuer; Rafinha, Badstuber, Boateng, Lahm [C]; Tymoschuk, Kroos, Schweinsteiger; Müller, Robben; Gomez
India: Karanjit, Gouramangi, Sushil, Vasum, Nirmal, Govin,Rocus, Nabi, Masih, Clifford, Baichung