Sven Ulreich has apologised via Instagram for his mistake as Bayern Munich exited the Champions League to Real Madrid on Tuesday.
With the game tied at 1-1, Bayern's goalkeeper Ulreich wanted to pick up Corentin Tolisso's errant back pass immediately after the restart. However, seeing the onrushing Karim Benzema in the corner of his eye, Ulreich panicked, aiming a wild kick and making no contact with the ball, leaving the France international with the routine task of tapping home his second goal of the evening from close range.
Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez equalised to make it 2-2 on 63 minutes, but Bayern, trailing 2-1 from the first leg, failed to score again and agonisingly exited 4-3 on aggregate, the fifth season in succession that the German champions have lost to a Spanish side.
"Words cannot describe how disappointed I am about going out of the Champions League," Ulreich wrote.
"We were determined to reach the final and we gave our best and then this unnecessary mistake happened to me. I cannot explain it. I'm sorry for my team and for you the fans."
Ulreich has been deputising for Bayern and Germany captain Manuel Neuer, who hasn't played since September after fracturing his foot. Jupp Heynckes said that when he took over as interim coach in October, Ulreich was "totally lacking in self-confidence and had no standing in the team."
Until his high-profile howler on Tuesday, Ulreich had undergone a remarkable transformation under Heynckes, producing a series of impressive displays and was key to Bayern's impressive run of form in three competitions.
Ulreich's Bayern teammates and the club sprang to the goalkeeper's defence, though, backing him to recover from his error. James wrote: "Head up, we are a team," while Javi Martinez pointed out: "You have saved our butts on several occasions Ulle" and Jerome Boateng wrote: "Head up!!! We win together, we lose together!"