Bayern reaches German Cup final after shootout win

NESHA STARCEVIC AP Sports Writer Published:

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Title holder Bayern Munich beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 4-2 on penalties on Wednesday to reach the German Cup final.

Neither team was able to score in two hours of football as the match went into extra time.

Defender Dante sent his spot kick over the goal and midfielder Harvard Nordtveit had his effort stopped by Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

"I decided to go to the right but he shot more to the middle, I was lucky to stop it with my left leg," Neuer said.

In the May 12 final in Berlin, Bayern will play Borussia Dortmund, which beat second division Greuther Fuerth 1-0 in extra time Tuesday.

Franck Ribery, one of the four Bayern players who converted their penalties, said the whole team was happy for Neuer, whose mistakes had contributed to Bayern losing twice to Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga this season.

"It's tough to play 120 minutes against a good team like Moenchengladbach," Ribery said. "We missed some chances, especially in the first half, but we stayed focused. We are all very pleased for Neuer."

David Alaba, Philipp Lahm and Toni Kroos also scored from the spot as Moenchengladbach remained winless against Bayern in six German Cup attempts.

Bayern, five points behind leader and defending champion Dortmund in the Bundesliga, will be seeking its 16th cup title. Dortmund has two.

Bayern is also in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

While the match remained tense, it was not always high class. Bayern played better then in the two losses against Moenchengladbach this season but still could not score, even though it had fired 20 goals in its last three matches.

Kroos hit the post from 20 meters (yards) out and Mario Gomez had a good header saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen early in the match.

On the other side, Neuer stopped an effort by Marco Reus off a counterattack.

Neuer then parried a shot by Filip Daems, before Ribery created Bayern's best chance, but Arjen Robben sent his shot high from eight meters (yards) out.

Ribery was at the center of action again in the 41st, feeding Alaba, but ter Stegen swatted he ball away.

Bayern had the first opportunity of the second half, with Robben and Thomas Mueller exchanging passes and Mueller using his backheel to release Robben, but the winger shot wide.

Juan Arango shot high with Neuer stranded, and ter Stegen stopped another effort by Robben following a pass from Gomez.

Gomez and Robben then wasted consecutive chances with 10 minutes remaining.

Neuer saved Bayern three minutes later. Arango broke through on the left and set up Reus, who nearly beat the advancing Neuer, but the Bayern goalkeeper somehow managed to stop the ball as it threatened to slip through his legs.

In the 109th, Robben fired a powerful shot from outside the penalty box, but ter Stegen made a fine save.

Moenchengladbach then came under pressure as its players began to show signs of tiredness and made several mistakes.

With time running out, substitute Nils Petersen had the chance to win the match for Bayern but slipped as he tried to take aim.