LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) Javier ”Chicharito” Hernandez scored his first goal for Bayer Leverkusen as the German side opened its Champions League campaign Wednesday with a 4-1 home win over BATE Borisov in Group E.
Admir Mehmedi opened the scoring with the outside of his boot in the fourth minute after a botched clearance from Ilya Aleksievich, nine minutes before Serbian defender Nemanja Milunovic drew the visitors level with a deflected header. It was BATE’s first attack after ten minutes of Leverkusen pressure.
Hakan Calhanoglu, who helped set up Mehmedi’s opener, restored Leverkusen’s lead with another deflected goal two minutes after the break, and Hernandez struck in the 59th. The Mexico striker ran onto Kevin Kampl’s ball forward and fired through the BATE goalkeeper’s legs for his first goal since switching from Manchester United.
Article continues below ...
”We stayed calm in the second half and played super football,” said Kampl, who produced a fine performance in midfield after captain Lars Bender went off with an apparent thigh injury.
Calhanoglu rounded off the scoring with a penalty in the 76th after Filip Mladenovic was penalized for handball.
”We made way too many mistakes,” BATE coach Alexander Yermakovich said. ”Our opponents pressed us relentlessly, especially our defense.”
Defending champion Barcelona drew 1-1 at Roma in the other Group E game.
Leverkusen next plays at Barcelona on Sept. 29, when BATE hosts Roma.