• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
businessday logo


Europa League: Boniface scores late winner as Leverkusen beat West Ham 2-0

Victor-Boniface (3)

Nigerian striker Victor Boniface scored a late winner for Bayer Leverkusen in their 2-0 win over West Ham United in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final clash at the BayArena on Thursday night.

With just seven minutes remaining on the clock, Jonas Hofmann smashed a shot through a crowd of defenders to give Xabi Alonso’s side the lead after the visitors struggled to clear a corner.

Then, in the first minute of injury time, Boniface sealed the win for Leverkusen with a precise header from Hofmann’s cross.

Throughout the match, Alonso’s men dominated possession but could not penetrate the well-organised Hammers defence. However, Boniface’s late strike proved decisive.

Despite Leverkusen’s control of the game, West Ham remained disciplined and posed a threat on the counter, especially through the pace and strength of Michail Antonio.

Antonio created a golden opportunity in the first half, breaking down the left flank and delivering a pass to Mohammed Kudus, whose shot was saved by Leverkusen goalkeeper Matej Kovar.

West Ham relied on the heroics of Lukasz Fabianski to keep Leverkusen at bay, with the veteran keeper making several crucial saves, including denying Patrick Schick in the first half and tipping his header over the bar in the second.

But Leverkusen’s persistence paid off when Hofmann and Boniface found the back of the net, securing victory and extending their unbeaten streak to 42 matches.

Leverkusen head into the second leg with a 2-0 advantage and will be confident of advancing to the semi-finals.