Bayern beats Bremen to reach German Cup final

Bayern's Thomas Mueller celebrates after scoring his side's second goal from the penalty spot during the German soccer cup (DFB Pokal) semi final match between FC Bayern Munich and SV Werder Bremen at the Allianz Arena stadium in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

FRANKFURT — Bayern Munich needed a disputed penalty to secure a 2-0 win over Werder Bremen and reach its 21st German Cup final on Tuesday.

Thomas Mueller scored both goals in the semifinal, the second coming from a 71st-minute contested penalty. Substitute Arturo Vidal fell after a careless challenge by Janek Sternberg but video replays appeared to show that the Chile midfielder had taken a dive.

"From my point of view it wasn’t a penalty, it was a dive," Mueller said after watching the replays. "But in the match it looked like a foul, the challenge was very risky."

Werder surprised Bayern with aggressive pressing and was unfortunate not to score from several chances. But the penalty took the fight out of Viktor Skripnik’s team.

The win kept Bayern on course for a second treble in its history in Pep Guardiola’s final season as coach. Bayern is close to clinching the Bundesliga title and is in the semifinals of the Champions League.

Bayern has won the German Cup title a record 17 times, losing only three finals. Werder, fighting against relegation in the Bundesliga, is the second best German Cup campaigner with six titles.

Mueller scored the opening goal in the 30th with a header from Xabi Alonso’s corner, as Bremen’s Clemens Fritz slipped to leave Mueller unchallenged.

"We made many mistakes, we can play a lot better. But we made the final and that’s no small achievement," Mueller said.

Werder forced Bayern’s defence into many mistakes and the visiting team nearly equalized when Manuel Neuer’s clearance far away from his line landed at the feet of Sambou Yatabare. He attempted a lob but it was short and the scrambling Neuer caught it before the line.

Werder did find the net in the second half, but Fin Bartels was called for a foul on David Alaba before hitting the net.

"We can play football and we showed courage," said Skripnik, whose team lost 5-0 to Bayern in the Bundesliga.

Speaking of the penalty, Skripnik said: "It looked like a foul in the match. It’s the referee’s call and that’s how he ruled."

Werder’s striker Claudio Pizarro had a quiet night and also spoke about the penalty. "It was a dive, it can happen, but the referee has to be more careful."

Guardiola, who will take over at Manchester City next season, said he expected a tough match.

"They played with a lot of courage," he said.

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