THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Bayern Munich defeats India in Bhutia’s farewell game

Philipp Lahm & Baichung Bhutia - India vs FC Bayern Munich

European powerhouses FC Bayern Munich have won the “Audi Football Summit” against the Indian national team. The farewell match of legendary India skipper Baichung Bhutia ended 4-0 in favour of the Germans.

The spectators at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi were able to enjoy the finals of the FC Bayern Youth Cup India and an entertaining opening ceremony in the prelude to the highlight in the evening.

The Delhi Team won the finals of the FC Bayern Youth Cup against the Mumbai Team. Delhi and Mumbai were locked goalless in regular time and the match was decided in a penalty shoot-out, which Delhi won 4-3.

The opening ceremony started off with an impressive dance choreography by kids and youngsters to the tunes of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”, Herbert Grönemeyers FIFA World Cup 2006 anthem “Celebrate The Day” and Shakira’s “Waka Waka”. The dance choreography was followed by an official welcome speech and some violine performance by a female quartet.

The atmosphere in the stadium reached its climax, when both teams entered the pitch for the “Audi Football Summit”. A star-studded Bayern team led by Philipp Lahm lined-up to face our very own Team India led by legendary Baichung Bhutia for a last time.

The atmosphere was electrifying and the approx. 30,000 fans witnessed an on-fire Bundesliga side. Bayern controlled the game from the very first minute and showed India “what top European football is all about” like captain Lahm told in the pre-match press conference on Friday [read here].

India almost conceded an early goal, when a Toni Kroos shot missed the target only by a whisker. Bayern pushed hard and Dutch superstar Arjen Robben missed another golden opportunity just three minutes later. Robben’s finish off a backheel pass by Mario Gomez ended in the hands of India keeper Karanjit Singh.

And who else than goalscoring machine Mario Gomez could have opened the scoresheet? The Germany striker received a well-timed pass by Thomas Müller and put the ball into the back of the net in the 14th minute.

The Indian team looked carried away by the big names and they had to wait till the 27th minute to regiter the first attempt on Manuel Neuer’s goal. Baichung Bhutia took the opportunity to fire a long range shot, but his attempt was well wide.

The crowd went berserk each time Baichung got near the ball and there was always a hope that the “Sikkimese Sniper” would somehow manange to score a goal in his last match for the Indian team. But Bayern had different plans and continued to dominate the first half.

FIFA World Cup 2010 golden boot winner Thomas Müller increased the lead for the visitors in the 29th minute. Müller headed home a great cross by Arjen Robben and left keeper Karanjit Singh stunned.

Müller, who visited India with Bayern’s 2nd Team in 2009, scored his second goal of the evening only eight minutes later. A great run by Kroos was followed by a on point pass to Müller and the Bayern star chipped the ball past Karanjit to make it 3-0.

Bastian Schweinsteiger scored the goal of the evening in the 43rd minute to seal Bayern’s impressive performance. A lay-off by Gomez was met by a powerful shot by the midfielder from outside the box. The ball curled past Karanjit and hit the target.

The Indian team pulled up their socks in the second half and impressed with a solid performance. The defence locked settled and the midfield was able to create the one or other attack into the Bayern half.

Both teams used the second half to implement some fresh blood into their ranks. Subhashish Roy Chowdhury replaced Karanjit in the goal and Dempo SC keeper impressed with several extra-class saves against Gomez and Franck Ribéry.

The emotional highlight of the evening reached its climax in the 84th minute, when Baichung Bhutia was substituted by India coach Savio Medeira! Baichung left the pitch with standing ovations from the fans, media, officials and both teams. A 16 year long historic career came to an end at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Referee Santosh Kumar had no difficulties to officiate the match and blowed the final whistle to a felicitous evening.

And all present knew: Results doesn’t matter today! A legend has left the international pitch and he received the farewell he deserved!

Thank you, Baichung!