CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL: COAST TO COAST (Updated)
May 16, 2012
In Ivica Olić’s last match as a Bayern Munich player, the Croatian striker was inserted into the Champions League Final during extra time in the 97′. Two minutes prior, Dutchman Arjen Robben had his penalty kick blocked by Chelsea keeper Petr Cech, which would have given Bayern a 2-1 lead with 15 minutes to go. Olić pressured the Chelsea backline, and although he did not have a direct scoring chance, played an unselfish pass to substitute Daniel van Buyten in the 109′ off a sharp angle. All van Buyten had to do was finish his run for a tap-in goal, and the rest would be history. But the game eventually ended 1-1 and headed to a penalty kick shootout.
With Bayern up 3-2 in the shootout, Olić stepped up to shoot fourth and put the German giants one kick away from the Champions League title. He shot high and right with Cech being able to push it away. Bastian Schweinsteiger hit the right post for Bayern in the final round and Didier Drogba cemented his shot to give Chelsea their first ever Champions League title.
What does the missed penalty kick mean for Olić’s confidence going into Euro 2012? Is Arjen Robben the Lebron James of the soccer world? (Re: missed break-away for the Dutch in the 2010 World Cup Final and now the missed penalty kick vs. Chelsea in the Champions League Final)
Chelsea wins on penalty kicks, Olić misses @ 0:52
Ivica Olić and Danijel Pranjić may not play in the Champions League Final this Saturday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with your favorite quasi-journalists during the most important club match of the season. CroatianSports.com is going coast to coast this year for the Final with two viewing parties: one in New York and one in Los Angeles.
Denis Svirčić will head the East Coast Croatian contingent at Scorpio Cafe & Bar, “where everybody knows your name.” Scorpio’s is located at 3515 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11106. Contact Mr. Svirčić at Denis@CroatianSports.com for more information. The match kicks off at 2:45PM (EST).
Ante Kvartuč will join the Bayern Munich fan club at Alpine Village, located 20 miles south of Downtown Los Angeles, at 833 West Torrance Blvd Torrance, CA 90502. Alpine Village will be the home to CroatianSports.com during all of Croatia’s EURO 2012 matches as well as their two warm-up friendlies with Estonia and Norway. Contact Ante for more information at Ante@CroatianSports.com.
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE 2012 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL
This year’s German runners-up will be playing the Final in their home stadium, the Allianz Arena. The local support will surely tip the atmosphere in the Bavarians way as Chelsea not only try to win their first ever Champions League crown, but attempt to qualify for next year’s tournament as well. Remember, Chelsea finished sixth in the English Premiership this season and can only qualify for next year’s Champions League as defending champions. If they do not beat Bayern Munich on Saturday, Tottenham Hotspur will take the berth as they finished in fourth position.
Both clubs will be shorthanded first-team players. Chelsea have been devastated by suspensions, with defenders John Terry And Branislav Ivanović out, as well as midfielders Raul Meireles and Ramires. Gary Cahill, Florent Malouda and David Luiz are all questionable due to injury. Bayern Munich will be with out the services of defender Holger Badstuber and midfielder Luis Gustavo Dias due to yellow card suspensions.
Ivica Olić is ready to end his Bayern Munich career on a high note as he will be joing Wolfsburg after EURO 2012. “As far as I’m concerned, winning the Champions League would crown my club career,” Olić said in Sportske Novosti.
Olić tasted European success while playing for CSKA Moscow in 2005 but he said: “Even though I have won the UEFA Cup, winning the Champions League would be something really special.”
CHELSEA DEFENDER BRANISLAV IVANOVIĆ BEING TOLD HE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PLAY IN THE FINAL