De Sanctis the hero as Napoli hold Bayern

Updated: 2011-10-19 10:48


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De Sanctis the hero as Napoli hold Bayern
Napoli's Ezequiel Lavezzi (L) challenges Sebastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern Munich during their Champions League Group A soccer match at San Paolo stadium in Naples Oct 18, 2011. [Photo/Agencies] 

NAPLES - Morgan De Sanctis saved a second-half penalty from Mario Gomez as Napoli earned a 1-1 draw against a dominant Bayern Munich in a lively Group A encounter at the San Paolo stadium on Tuesday.

Bayern struck first with only two minutes on the clock when Toni Kroos was allowed acres of space inside the Napoli box before placing his shot into the corner.

Napoli, who have not lost at home since returning to European competition three years ago, equalised on 39 minutes when Christian Maggio's right-wing cross was deflected into the net by Holger Badstuber's lunging dive.

Bayern piled on the pressure after Gomez had his 49th-minute penalty saved but Napoli held on, with the result leaving the Germans top of the group on seven points with Napoli in second place on five. Manchester City lie third on four.

Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri said he was delighted to be second at the halfway point of the group.

"Some people said that at this stage we would be bottom," he told reporters. "We haven't set targets so after each game we have to see where we are.

"Our boys are not used to games like these. After their goal we changed tactics and played a great game. This is one of the best sides in Europe - they've won twice already in the group. In the end, we could even have won it."

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said the draw was a crucial step towards qualification to the knockout stages.

"I'm not a prophet, but I'm confident now we will qualify," he told reporters. "We came here to win - and I think we deserved the win - but I'm fairly happy with a draw.

"We went at Napoli at the start, controlled the game and stayed tight at the back. Napoli played with a lot of heart and I think they stand a good chance of qualifying too."

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