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Leverkusen ease past BK Hacken in UEFA Europa League

IANS | September 22, 2023 12:25 PM

BERLIN: Bayer Leverkusen showed no mercy against Swedish outfit Hacken, clinching a 4-0 victory at home during the Europa League group stage opener.

The Werkself began the match impressively, with Victor Boniface's through ball into the box allowing Florian Wirtz to break the deadlock just ten minutes in, chipping the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper Peter Abrahamsson into the top left corner, reports Xinhua.

Leverkusen's momentum continued, and they doubled their lead only six minutes later. Amine Adli volleyed the ball past Abrahamsson after a pinpoint cross from Granit Xhaka into the penalty area.

Hacken struggled to contain Leverkusen's offense but found some relief as neither Xhaka nor Boniface managed to beat Abrahamsson with their subsequent attempts.

As the match progressed, Hacken began to find their rhythm. Leverkusen's goalkeeper, Matej Kovar, was tested with long-range efforts from Simon Sandberg and Romeo Amane just before halftime.

Leverkusen had another opportunity to extend their lead at the end of the first half, but Wirtz's shot from inside the box went just wide.

The hosts resumed their dominance after the break. In the 66th minute, Boniface capitalized on a counterattack to make it 3-0. Not long after, substitute Jonas Hofmann tapped in Wirtz's assist, bringing the score to 4-0.

With this win, Leverkusen sits atop the standings in Group H, followed by Qarabag, Molde, and Hacken in the last position.

"We started very confidently into the game and were able to take the momentum from the last few games with us. We didn't play against a bad team, but we did well, " said Leverkusen captain Jonathan Tah.

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