Van Buyten nods Bayern to victory

A first-half header by Bayern Munich defender Daniel Van Buyten sealed the German giants' 1-0 win over Steaua Bucharest here on Wednesday in their Champions League Group F match.

The Belgium international rose above Steaua's defence in the 15th minute and put his header past Columbia goalkeeper Robinson Zapata for the goal which ultimately gave Bayern three points here.

Having spent last season in the UEFA Cup, this was Bayern's first game back in the competition they last won in 2001. It was also Bayern's new coach Jurgen Klinsmann's first European campaign and he selected Miroslav Klose and Luca Toni, who was making his Champions League debut, up front leaving Lukas Podolski on the bench.

Brazilian Arthur Bernhardt was the lone striker up front for the home side as Steaua coach Marius Lacatus packed five into the midfield.

After a lively start by Bayern in damp conditions, Van Buyten opened the scoring after Bastian Schweinsteiger swung in a pin-point accurate free-kick.

Both sides then had chances to trouble the scoreboard as Steaua's Columbian striker Dayro Moreno hit the post on 31 minutes while Toni wasted an open goal with half-time approaching.

Klose picked up an ankle injury in the first-half and he was replaced at half-time by international team-mate Lukas Podolski, who constantly tested the home defence.

Only the post stopped Steaua equalising when Bernhardt hit the woodwork on 58 minutes, but Bayern's defence scrambled the danger.

Steaua started to show their frustration as midfielder Florin Lovin was shown a yellow card on 69 minutes for a second brutal tackle on Schweinsteiger.

Both sides wasted clear chances with the final whistle approaching, but Bayern hung on to give themselves a flying start to join Fiorentina on three points at the top of Group F.

Bayern will now host Lyon on 30 September, while Steaua travel to Fiorentina the same night having drawn 2-2 with the French champions on Wednesday.