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Match-winner Sosa seizes his chance

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Match-winner Sosa seizes his chance

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Mar 22, 2009 7:30 pm

When José Sosa headed for the touchline to be replaced by Andi Ottl after 72 minutes on Saturday, warm applause rang round the Allianz Arena. Some members of the 69,000 capacity crowd even felt moved to rise from their seats, an honour normally reserved for the occasions when Franck Ribéry is substituted.

However, there can be no doubt the Argentine midfielder deserved the praise directed at him, for it was he who netted the 34th-minute opener from Ribery's world-class build-up play. The 23-year-old's first goal in a Bayern jersey ultimately proved enough to seal all three points against Karlsruher SC.

"We're delighted José gave another very good performance and scored his first goal for the club," coach Jürgen Klinsmann commented afterwards. Uli Hoeneß was equally thrilled for the midfield man, largely confined to the role of squad player this term. "He's hardly been banging in the goals since joining us, so I'm really pleased for him," the general manager told fcbayern.de.

Sosa provides another typical example of how quickly circumstances can change in football. The club planned to send the Argentine out on loan in the winter break, simply to hand him match practice, but a switch to Serie A outfit Palermo collapsed at the last minute. However, when Miroslav Klose sustained an injury in Bochum last weekend, Klinsmann opted to throw Sosa in at the deep end - and he turned in his best performance for FCB to date.

The player went one better against Karlsruhe, and not solely due to his goal. "Once again, he showed glimpses of why we signed him in the first place, so I'm very satisfied with the way he's come on," commented Hoeneß. José had been branded a misfit by certain sections of the media, "but now I'm delighted the winter loan deal didn't work out," Hoeneß said last week.

Trouble acclimatising

Sosa arrived in Munich from Argentine cracks Estudiantes de La Plata in summer 2007. He made 15 Bundesliga appearances in his first season, eight as a sub. Up until the trip to Bochum, Sosa had played just seven times this term, starting only the defeat to Hannover on Matchday 6.

"The last eighteen months have been tough and not entirely problem-free," reflected Sosa, acknowledging his struggle to adapt to the "more aggressive and physical" game as practised in Germany. Settling into an entirely new environment had also been fraught with difficulty: "My whole life suddenly changed."

Everyone at the club now hopes Sosa's form over the last two matches means he has finally arrived in Munich. "It'll definitely be good for his confidence, and that's exactly what he needs," offered Hoeneß. Sosa himself is in a positive frame of mind. "I hope I'll continue to be offered opportunities. What I need now is continuity and rhythm. I want to take my chance," he declared. José certainly did just that against Karlsruhe.
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