| Bayern Munich’s Bixente Lizarazu (right) and Deportivo la Coruna’s Victor in a tussle for the ball during their Champions League match Tuesday. Deportivo won 2-1. (AFP)
London: Bayern Munich’s Champions League hopes were drowned out under torrential Galician rain Tuesday, as a stunning Roy Makaay volley a minute from time earned Deportivo La Coruna a 2-1 win.
The four-times European champions, needing victory to stand any chance of making the second phase, fell a goal behind to a swinging Victor freekick 10 minutes into the second half. Substitute striker Roque Santa Cruz gave Bayern hope when he grabbed an equaliser with an emphatic header on 77 minutes.
But as the weather conditions worsened, Deportivo grabbed the dramatic winner when Makaay, who scored a hattrick in his side’s shock 3-2 win in Munich in September, swept in Joan Capdevila’s cross.
Now, with just one match to play Bayern cannot catch third-placed Lens (seven points) or Deportivo (nine) who are both looking to join group leaders AC Milan (12 points) in phase II.
Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld admitted his side’s performances had been nothing short of embarrassing for the proud German club.
“The way we’ve played in the Champions League this season has been disappointing and embarrassing,” Hitzfeld said.
“We’ve caused great damage to Bayern Munich with the way we’ve presented ourselves in this competition.”
“For me personally, this has been one of the most difficult moments of my career.”
Milan lost their 100 per cent record when they went down 1-2 at Lens, but had already assured their place in the last 16 after four straight wins last week.
Manchester United also lost their 100 per cent record when their weakened side lost 0-3 to Maccabi Haifa in neutral Nicosia.
Haifa, thrashed 5-2 by United in their first meeting at Old Trafford in September, gave their travelling army of 10,000 fans plenty to cheer with two stunning long-range goals and a late penalty.
Yakubu Ayegbeni (77pen) completed the rout as United lost in the Champions League proper for the first time in 17 matches.
Bayer Leverkusen took revenge over Olympiakos Piraeus on Tuesday with a 2-0 victory that sent the Germans into the second stage and eliminated their Greek opponents.
Last season’s runners-up, who had started their campaign with an embarrassing 2-6 defeat to Olympiakos in Athens, moved in front 14 minutes into their penultimate Group F match courtesy of Juan.
The Brazilian defender’s dipping effort from 20 metres out took a slight deflection and left Olympiakos goalkeeper Dimitris Eleftheropoulos no chance.
The home side had wasted several chances to double their advantage when Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov was fouled in the box by Brazilian midfielder Edu Drasena with a few seconds remaining. Midfielder and captain Bernd Schneider wrapped it up by converting the resulting penalty.
Juventus ensured their place in the last 16 with a 2-0 home win over Feyenoord with two goals from Marco Di Vaio lifting them on to 10 points in Group E. But the battle to join them is wide open following Newcastle United’s 2-1 home win over Dynamo Kiev.
Juventus will win the group if they avoid defeat by Dynamo in Kiev in two weeks time.
But Newcastle, looking dead and buried after three straight defeats, are alive again after a second successive win. Goals from Gary Speed (58) and a 69th-minute Alan Shearer penalty gave them victory over a Kiev side who had gone ahead through Maksim Shatskin in the 47th minute.
Everything now hangs on their match against Feyenoord in Rotterdam while Kiev will qualify no matter what happens in The Netherlands if they beat Juventus.
Barcelona, who qualified last week, were left with the only 100 per cent record in the competition after a largely reserve side beat Club Bruges 1-0 with a second-half winner from Juan Riquelme.
But while Barcelona are out of sight on 15 points, Bruges (5 points), Galatsaray (4) and Lokomotiv Moscow (4) are all still chasing the second qualifying spot.
Lokomotiv scored a shock 2-1 win over Galatsaray in Istanbul where a pre-match silence was held as a mark of respect to those who died in the Moscow Theatre siege. (Reuters)