A cool finish by Mario Gotze — who made headlines days earlier over a culinary gaffe — ten minutes from time propelled Bayern Munich to a 1-0 exhibition match victory over Inter Milan in Shanghai on Tuesday.
The scorer of Germany’s World Cup final winning goal just over a year ago in Brazil latched onto a defence-splitting pass to calmly round Inter keeper Samir Handanovic and slot the ball into the empty net.
Gotze had hit the headlines in China this week for telling local media he “loved Chinese food, especially sushi”. The dish is in fact a Japanese delicacy.
However the German striker showed where his real expertise lay by providing a match winning goal which delighted the vast majority of the lively 37,431-strong crowd at Shanghai Stadium.
The goal was undoubtedly the highlight of a somewhat dull game played on a very muggy summer evening.
Both teams started brightly but the tempo of the match soon slowed as the European heavyweights struggled to find their rhythm.
Inter Milan were first to register a shot on goal when Mateo Kovacic unleashed a fierce shot which flew over the goal in the second minute.
Bayern however soon took control of the match and would dominate it until the final whistle, with Douglas Costa in particular causing the Italian giants all sorts of problems with his mazy dribbling down the right flank.
The Brazilian supplied a flurry of dangerous crosses into the Inter box but Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski was unable to capitalise on the service provided, coming closest in the 21st minute with a low drive from Costa’s cross which flew just wide.
Bayern captain Philipp Lahm came closest to opening the scoring in the 32nd minute when his placed shot from within the box was cleared off the Inter goal line by Jeison Murillo.
In the second half the game lost what little momentum it had with both sides making multiple substitutions — Inter brought on four players simultaneously at one point midway through the second half.
Neither goalkeeper was tested for the remainder of the game until Gotze’s late winner sealed the win for the reigning German league champions.
Bayern triumphed 4-1 over Valencia on Saturday in Beijing in the first game of their Chinese tour and play their third and final game against Chinese Champions Guangzhou Evergrande on Thursday. – Agence France-Presse