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Van Buyten salutes Bayern battlers

Published: Wednesday 4 April 2007, 19.13CET
Daniel Van Buyten told of FC Bayern Munchen's willingness to fight "until the bitter end" as his goals earned the German club a draw at AC Milan.
by Richard Aikman
from Milan
Published: Wednesday 4 April 2007, 19.13CET

Van Buyten salutes Bayern battlers

Daniel Van Buyten told of FC Bayern Munchen's willingness to fight "until the bitter end" as his goals earned the German club a draw at AC Milan.

Daniel Van Buyten hailed FC Bayern München's never-say-die spirit after scoring twice, the second an added-time equaliser, to earn his side a dramatic 2-2 UEFA Champions League quarter-final first-leg draw against AC Milan at San Siro.

Van Buyten double
Van Buyten cancelled out Andrea Pirlo's 40th-minute opener with 12 minutes remaining and then repeated the trick in the dying seconds after Kaká had scored Milan's second from the penalty spot. "The most important thing was to score for the team," Van Buyten told "It was a great away result for the team and it stands us in great stead in our bid to qualify for the next round."

Hitzfeld tonic
The home side dominated the match in the first half but the Belgian international centre-back said that coach Ottmar Hitzfeld had demanded more urgency from Bayern after the break: "At half-time Hitzfeld told us to involve our forwards more because we didn't have a great deal of possession in the first 45 minutes. He told us to play better, dictate matters and show more urgency. He said if we could get a result against this side it would be a great coup and in the second half we were much better - the two goals reflected that."

When Kaká made it 2-1 with six minutes to go Bayern's cause looked lost, but the users' man of the match and his team-mates do not lie down easily. "We knew there wasn't much time left when they scored the penalty but we decided to try to respond," Van Buyten said. "We were down after the spot-kick award so we were facing an uphill struggle but we also knew that anything is possible in football and showed self-belief. We scored from a late free-kick and proved that you should always keep going until the very last minute.

Away goals
"Bayern have forged a bit of a reputation for scoring late goals - we've scored quite a few - and tonight we lived up to it again by playing until the bitter end. In matches of such huge importance you have to believe and that last goal could play a major part in getting us through. That last goal was vital for the return match." Bayern certainly have the away-goal advantage but Van Buyten is not thinking about the semi-finals just yet. "I don't think we're favourites," he added. "Milan are probably better away from home but they have to win while we know a clean sheet will be enough."

Last updated: 04/04/07 13.33CET

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