Bayern late show secures season-opening win


BERLIN, August 25: Champions Bayern Munich scored twice in the last eight minutes to beat visiting Hoffenheim 3-1 in the Bundesliga premiere on Friday and hand new coach Niko Kovac a winning league debut.
Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski netted a controversially awarded penalty in the 82nd minute, after he had to retake his spot kick, and Arjen Robben fired in the third goal from close range in the 90th as Hoffenheim ran out of steam.
Thomas Mueller put the hosts ahead with a glancing header in the 23rd minute but Adam Szalai levelled with a fine low shot in the 57th for fellow Champions League club Hoffenheim.
There was some bad news for Bayern, who have won the last six Bundesliga titles, after midfielder Kingsley Coman was taken off with what looked like an ankle problem in his first league game since a ligament injury in February.
“It was a deserved victory, but it is clear it was not as easy as it looked in the end,” Kovac told reporters. “We have to be able to play well over 90 minutes. But I am still happy with the 60-65 minutes today.”
Kovac, who succeeded the retired Jupp Heynckes, surprisingly put Germany international Mats Hummels on the bench and partnered Jerome Boateng with Niklas Suele in central defence. (Agencies)