Bayern beat Sao Paulo in friendly Audi Cup semi | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 31.07.2013
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Bayern beat Sao Paulo in friendly Audi Cup semi

Bayern Munich have beaten Sao Paulo in the pre-season Audi Cup tournament at their home stadium, booking a ticket to the final against Manchester City on Thursday. That will be the club's last pre-season test.

Bayern Munich secured a 2-0 win over 90 minutes against Sao Paulo, with substitute strikers Mario Mandzukic and Mitchell Weiser scoring both goals in the second half.

New coach Pep Guardiola continued his pre-season experimentation, again playing Philipp Lahm in midfield and restoring Bastian Schweinsteiger - until recently injured and unavailable - to the starting lineup. Spaniard Javi Martinez played in the center of defense, a position the versatile midfielder might occupy in more serious matches in the coming season.

Manuel Neuer was also back in goal after a slight injury scare, and he managed to deny his opposite number Rogerio Ceni from the penalty spot late in the game.

"He's known as a penalty specialist," Bayern's Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said of Neuer after the game. Ceni, a 40-year-old veteran goalie, has incredibly scored more than 100 career goals - but his low, weak penalty on Wednesday in Munich was the sort one might typically expect from a keeper.

Mandzukic had put Bayern in front after 55 minutes, pouncing at the back post after a quick corner routine. Weiser doubled Bayern's lead with five minutes to play, knocking home the rebound after Xherdan Shaqiri rattled Ceni's post.

Bayern will face Manchester City, who beat AC Milan 5-3 in the earlier semifinal, in the friendly competition's finale on Thursday.

"It will be an interesting comparison, an interesting test - the last one before the season gets going with the German Cup on Monday," Rummenigge said. Bayern travel to lower league BSV SW Rehden for a first round cup encounter that might encourage a scoreline more suited to a rugby match.

Wednesday's game also served as a chance for Bayern to move on from defeat in the German Supercup, itself a competition that's more friendly than fierce, against Borussia Dortmund.

Guardiola is curiously the only winner of the two-yearly Audi Cup taking part in the competition. Two years ago, Guardiola led Barcelona to the trophy, courtesy of a pair of goals from Thiago Alcantara - the first Bayern signing of Guardiola's tenure.