Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich apologised on Wednesday after his costly mistake led to the Germans bowing out of the Champions League semi-finals at Real Madrid.
With the scores level at 1-1 in Tuesday’s second-leg at the Bernabeu, Ulreich’s blunder 20 seconds into the second half gifted Karim Benzema his second goal and Real the lead.
Ulreich somehow missed a back-pass from Corentin Tolisso, leaving Benzema to tap into an empty net.
Bayern fought back from the blow but fell short. James Rodriguez equalised, but the game finished 2-2 and Real Madrid advanced 4-3 on aggregate. The German giants lost to Spanish opposition in the knock-out phase for the fifth year in a row.
Taking to his Instagram page, Ulreich said sorry to those he felt he had let down with the mistake:
“Words can not describe how disappointed I am about exiting the Champions League.
“We really wanted to go to the final, we did our best and then this unnecessary mistake happened – I cannot explain it.
“I’m sorry… for my team and for you fans.”
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Worte können nicht beschreiben wie enttäuscht ich über das Ausscheiden in der CL bin. Wir wollten unbedingt ins Finale und wir haben unser Bestes gegeben und dann passiert mir dieser unnötige Fehler. Ich kann es mir nicht erklären. Es tut mir leid… für mein Team und für euch Fans. #weiterimmerweiter
Ulreich has been Bayern’s first-choice goalkeeper since Germany’s captain Manuel Neuer was injured last September.
His good performances helped Bayern secure a sixth straight Bundesliga title last month and after his social media post, team-mates quickly offered support and comfort.
“You saved our ass many times, Ulle” replied Spanish international Javi Martinez.
“Head up! We win together, we lose together,” said defender Jerome Boateng, who missed the game injured.
“Heads up. We are a team,” wrote Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez.
Bayern’s hopes of winning the treble faded in Madrid, but they can still finish with the double as they face Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Cup final on May 19 in Berlin.
© Agence France-Presse