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Bayern gets the better of Netherlands
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 24 - 05 - 2012

Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng (L) challenges Netherland's Adam Maher during their friendly match in Munich Tuesday. — ReutersMUNICH — Arjen Robben was booed by many of his home Bayern Munich fans when he made an appearance for the Netherlands in a friendly three days after he missed a penalty in the Champions League final against Chelsea.
Robben's spot kick in extra time was saved by Petr Cech and Chelsea won the penalty shootout to lift the title at Bayern's Allianz Arena.
Bayern won 3-2 Tuesday in a match that was part of the settlement to a long dispute between the club and the Dutch football federation after Robben returned injured from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and could not play for months. Bayern demanded and won compensation from the Dutch.
Japan beats Azerbaijan
In Japan, Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki scored as Japan beat Azerbaijan 2-0 in a friendly Wednesday.
Kagawa took a pass from Makoto Hasebe, beat a defender, and fired an angled shot into the far corner in the 43rd minute.
Okazaki doubled the lead 12 minutes after the break when he picked up a loose ball and scored from close range. Azerbaijan's best chance came in the 82nd when Vugar Nadirov deflected a free kick off the post. Japan was warming up for three final-round World Cup qualifiers in June against Oman, Jordan and Australia.
Hargreaves to leave City
Former England international Owen Hargreaves is leaving Manchester City at the end of his one-year contract, the Premier League champion said Tuesday.
The 31-year-old joined City in August after an injury-plagued spell at Manchester United but he made just four appearances, scoring one goal in the League Cup win over Birmingham City.
After being released by United the former Bayern Munich player posted a training video of himself on the Internet in the hope of generating interest.
Coach dismisses Balotelli rumors
Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini has dismissed rumors he in talks with AC Milan over strikers Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez.
Mancini met with Milan Vice President Adriano Galliani at the Italian club's headquarters Monday, but the former Inter Milan coach said it was simply a courtesy visit. In an interview with Italian news agency ANSA, Mancini said Galliani had asked to see him and added: “It lasted 10 minutes and I certainly didn't make an offer for Thiago Silva. Even less did I offer Balotelli or Tevez to Milan.”

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