Bayern Munich qualify for Champions League final after penalty shoot-out

Madrid: Bayern Munich have qualified for the final of the Champions League football after knocking out Real Madrid in a penalty shoot-out.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Sergio Ramos missed the vital penalties for Madrid, with Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer saving from Ronaldo and Kaka and Ramos blazing over the bar.

Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas was also heroic, saving from Toni Kroos and Philipp Lamm, but he was unable to stop Bastian Schweinsteiger smashing home the decisive penalty Wednesday night.

Bayern will now play Chelsea in the final, which will be played on their home ground in Munich April 19.

Things looked to be going Real Madrid's way when the Spanish side raced to a 2-0 lead after just 13 minutes thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese striker opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the sixth minute after Bayern's young left back Alaba touched the ball with his hand following a shot from Angel De Maria. Ronaldo sent the keeper the wrong way to put his side ahead on the night and the give them the virtual qualification thanks to the away goal they had scored in Germany a week later.

After 13 minutes Ronaldo added a second to make it 2-0. The ball cannoned around outside the Bayern Area and fell to Mesut Ozil, who showed good vision to feed Ronaldo, who scored with a sweeping shot from just outside the area.

It was a frantic game and neither defense looked comfortable and Madrid defender Pepe again showed his lack of a cool head just before the half hour when he allowed Bayern into the tie by needlessly pushing Mario Gomez in the Madrid penalty area.

Former Madrid striker Arjen Robben produced a fine penalty which beat Casillas, who had guessed his intentions, but was unable to get to the ball.

After a frantic first period, the second was rather more conservative from both sides and the chances were more limited as Madrid perhaps realized that a second goal from the Germans would need them needing two more goals.

Mario Gomez forced a save from Casillas after 57 minutes, while Benzema also had a chance for Madrid. However, as the half continued it became clear that both sides were increasingly scared of conceding a decisive goal.

Kaka replaced Angel De Maria with 15 minutes left for Madrid, while Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes kept faith with his stating 11.

Ronaldo saw a shot blocked in the last minute and the match went into 30 minutes of extra time.

Shortly into extra time Bayern brought Thomas Muller on for Frank Ribery, but as so often happens in extra time fear appeared to take over both sides, with neither willing to take risks and neither Madrid nor their visitors were able to direct a shot on target and as a result the game went into the fatal penalty shoot-out. (IANS)