Leverkusen's Boniface scores twice in 4-1 win over promoted Heidenheim


Bayer Leverkusen vs. 1. FC Heidenheim 1846 - Game Highlights

Watch the Game Highlights from Bayer Leverkusen vs. 1. FC Heidenheim 1846, 09/24/2023

LEVERKUSEN, Germany, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Bayer Leverkusen striker Victor Boniface scored twice in a 4-1 victory over promoted Heidenheim on Sunday, as his team joined Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga with their fourth win in five league games.

The 22-year-old Nigerian, who joined Leverkusen this season, has now netted six times to equal the club record for most goals by a player in the first five games of a season.

Xabi Alonso's team dominated throughout but wasted a bagful of chances after leading 1-0, allowing Heidenheim to briefly come back.

The hosts were far more efficient after the break and scored three more times to move up to 13 points, second on goal different to champions Bayern.

With almost 70% possession in the first half, Leverkusen took a deserved lead with Boniface, who picked up the ball at the edge of the box and, with his back to the goal, turned quickly and powered in his shot.

They should have scored several more, with their opponents struggling to get the ball out of their box and not having a single effort towards goal for almost an hour.

Heidenheim did briefly silence the home fans in the BayArena when the first chance they got resulted in Eren Dinkci's well-placed equaliser in the 58th.

Leverkusen struck back five minutes later when Jonas Hofmann latched on to a superb Exequiel Palacios through ball for his second league goal of the campaign.

They made sure of the three points with a 75th-minute penalty from Boniface, before Amine Adli's 82nd-minute chip over keeper Kevin Mueller made it 4-1. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Clare Fallon)