BERLIN, April. 13 — A late equalizer from substitute Samuel Chukwueze helped Villareal draw 1-1 with Bayern Munich and book the semifinals after moving 2-1 on aggregate in the Champions League’s quarterfinals on Tuesday.
The German giants started highly motivated, knowing that they had to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg, while Villareal defended deep and lurked for their counterattack opportunities.
Bayern controlled the proceedings on the pitch but lacked accuracy in front of the target as only Jamal Musiala’s header forced Villareal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli into action once at the half-hour mark.
The German champions lived dangerously as the visitors from Spain were a menace on a fast break and Gerard Moreno sent the first warning before the break after rattling the side netting from a tight angle.
Julian Nagelsmann’s men came out with their guns blazing after the restart as Dayot Upamecano pulled over the target from a promising position before Robert Lewandowski eventually opened the scoring after slotting home a loose ball from the edge of the box in the 52nd minute.
Even though the Bavarians gained momentum, they had to wait until the 72nd minute to produce their next chance as unmarked Thomas Muller headed narrowly wide from a central position.
Villareal’s counterattack strategy paid off in the closing stages as Gerard Moreno’s pass into the path allowed Chukwueze to stun Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer from close range against the run of the game in the 88th minute.
“We lost this game in the first leg. We played very well today. We had a golden chance in the first half, and we should have scored another goal in the second half. Villareal defended very well, and we got caught flatfooted as we pressed for the winner,” said Bayern coach Nagelsmann.
“It’s unbelievable, it’s taken a lot of hard work. We have suffered a lot in both games, but to be in the semifinals is great for Villarreal,” said Villareal captain Raul Albiol. (Xinhua)