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30.03.2004 Football News

Kuffour delight at first strike

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Sammy Kuffour is one of the great celebrators in football, and fans were treated to another fine display of jubilation in Saturday's 5-2 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach. The Ghana international rose to meet Bastian Schweinsteiger's corner on 20 minutes to put the champions in the lead. Practising Christian Sammy stretched out his arms, raised his eyes to the heavens and offered a little prayer of thanks, a heart-warming and charming gesture.

The goal was anything but an everyday occurrence, as Sammy opened his account for the season with his seventh strike in 163 league appearances for Bayern. The 27 year-old last hit the target almost a year ago, firing the only goal of the game against Kaiserslautern on 3 May 2003.

The defender's job rarely involves celebrating, so it is even more painful when a "goal" is disallowed, as happened to Sammy two weeks ago. Bayern played out a 3-3 home draw against Hansa Rostock, but with the double winners leading 2-1 after 54 minutes, Kuffour rose to nod home what could have been the deciding score. However, the match official had seen a foul and disallowed Kuffour's effort - a bad mistake, as TV replays later showed.

After the match, Kuffour and his defensive colleagues took a certain amount of flak, Ottmar Hitzfeld raging at "schoolboy errors at the back." Not a good day for the Ghana international, and after just four minutes against Gladbach the omens appeared against him again. Kuffour lay prone after a collision with Markus Hausweiler and required lengthy treatment. But he picked himself up, put his side into the lead and thoroughly enjoyed his celebration.