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UCL Semi-Final Clash: Real Madrid and Bayern Munich Battle to a 2-2 Draw

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Afor Kenneth 

Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior delivered a brace, including an 83rd-minute penalty to salvage a 2-2 draw against Bayern Munich in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg.

Vinicius opened the scoring for Real after 24 minutes, but Bayern responded with two quick second-half goals, Leroy Sane netting a spectacular opener and Harry Kane converting a penalty.

With just eight minutes remaining, Kim Min-jae’s challenge on Rodrygo in the box resulted in a penalty for Real. Despite facing a barrage of boos and whistles, Vinicius confidently struck the ball into the net.

The draw positions Madrid favorably heading into the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu next week. While Bayern dominated significant portions of the match, they still retain hopes of reaching the final at Wembley in June.

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Before the game commenced, Bayern supporters revealed an expansive banner featuring Franz Beckenbauer, extending from the field to the stadium’s highest points.

It served as a poignant homage on a night marked by the fixture with the most appearances in European Cup history.

Renowned for their poise in prestigious matches, the 14-time champions initially faced difficulty. Bayern commanded possession and territory, fueled by an impassioned home crowd.

Sane had two early opportunities, and Kane narrowly missed a long-range shot, highlighting the visitors’ struggle to keep pace.

Madrid’s ongoing success, including their recent quarter-final victory over Manchester City, has been predicated on absorbing pressure and capitalizing on opportunities.

The visitors executed this strategy to perfection for the opening goal, swiftly shifting momentum from Bayern and demonstrating the simplicity of scoring.

Toni Kroos received the ball from a corner and delivered a precise ground pass that split the defense, finding Vinicius sprinting into open space near the penalty area.

With no Bayern defender in sight, Vinicius calmly scored the opening goal past Manuel Neuer, drastically altering the match’s dynamics.

Despite possessing six European Cups of their own, Bayern remained undeterred and pressed forward, yet failed to capitalize. Their best opportunity of the half came from a free kick, as Kane aimed for a gap in the wall but missed wide.

As Real seemed to control the game, Bayern seized momentum early in the second half, netting two goals in four minutes.

Eric Dier located Sane on the right wing. The German winger, who had missed several chances earlier, dribbled into the box and unleashed an unstoppable shot at the near post, marking his first goal for Bayern in any competition since October.

The hosts’ subsequent attack originated from the left, with the ever-dangerous Jamal Musiala fouled by Lucas Vazquez in the box. Referee Clement Turpin promptly awarded a penalty, which Kane confidently converted, sending Andriy Lunin the wrong way to put Bayern in the lead.

With Bayern dictating play, Real countered, and Kim conceded a clumsy penalty, allowing Vinicius to confidently equalize from the spot.

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