Berlin, Sep 17 (IANS) Three second-half goals secured Bayer Leverkusen a 4-1 victory over Belarusian outfit BATE Borisov and a winning start in the opening game of Group E UEFA Champions League encounter on Wednesday.
The win came on home soil in front of 24,280 spectators, Xinhua reported.
Roger Schmidt’s men had an ideal start into the encounter as Admir Mehmedi broke the deadlock with just four minutes into the game.
Despite Leverkusen’s dominant performance, the Belarusian visitors were able to pull one back just nine minutes later, as Nemanja Milunovic restored parity with a deflected header following a corner.
BATE’ s equaliser had a visible impact since the hosts lost their rhythm. Thus, Leverkusen had to wait after the restart to grab the lead for the second time when Hakan Calhanoglu unleashed a hammer, that got deflected and went past BATE Borisov goalkeeper Sergei Chernik at the 47th minute.
With the 2-1 lead behind, Leverkusen picked up the pace to establish a two-goal lead through new arrival Javier Hernandez, who capitalised on deep forward pass by teammate Kevin Kampl to mark his first goal for his new club with 59 minutes played.
Bayer Leverkusen kept going and added another goal to their lead as Turkish international Hakan Calhanoglu converted a penalty to seal his brace and the first win for his team.
“We made way too many mistakes. Our opponent pressured us relentlessly, especially in our defence,” BATE head coach Aleksandr Yermakovich said after the game.
Bayer Leverkusen jump on the first place of Champions League’s Group E with three points, followed by Barcelona and Roma both with one point, and BATE Borisov with zero points on the last spot.