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28.07.2021Bayer 04

Bakker scores in friendly against Utrecht – Kossounou makes debut

The second pre-season friendly for the Werkself against FC Utrecht lasted 135 minutes divided into three thirds. In front of 350 spectators at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium, Mitchel Bakker opened the scoring for the hosts (50') but the Dutch top-flight side went on to secure a 5-1 win. Odilon Kossounou made his debut in Black and Red.
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The second friendly for the Werkself kicked off half an hour late due to travel difficulties for the visitors. Ahead of kick-off, there was a minute’s silence for the fatalities and injured from the explosion in a hazardous waste incineration plant in Leverkusen on Tuesday morning. Both teams also wore black arm bands.

The team under head coach Gerardo Seoane included new signing Odilon Kossounou in the starting line-up. The Dutch team made the better start. First, Werkself keeper Lukas Hradecky and Jeremie Frimpong kept the score at 0-0 in the first minute and then Quinten Timber hit the woodwork on three minutes. The visitors were on top in the opening quarter of an hour but the Seoane team increasingly found their way into the game.

 

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The best chance up to that point for the Werkself fell to Lucas Alario with the Argentinian putting a shot just wide of the far post (21'). After a phase of the game with neither side on top, Moussa Diaby had another decent chance just before the break – but Utrecht's German keeper Erich Oelschlägel was able to make the save (44').

Half-time guest – first goal for bayer 04

While the two teams headed to the dressing rooms, commentator Niko Hartmann interviewed former Werkself keeper Ramazan 'Rambo' Özcan in a live stream of the friendly on YouTube. The Austrian's assessment of the first 45 minutes: "It was a very intensive first third. We are up against a very committed opponent," said the Leverkusen U19 goalkeeping coach. "I can't wait to see how the game develops." Successfully from the Werkself perspective – initially.

Captain Julian Baumgartlinger and his team were unchanged for the second third of the game on the pitch at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium and they looked keen to get on the front foot – and within five minutes they were in the lead. A low cross into the penalty area from Karim Bellarabi came through to left back Mitchel Bakker who calmly turned the ball into an empty net from close range. It was not only the first goal for the new signing from Paris Saint-Germain in a Werkself shirt but also the first goal for Bayer 04 in the current pre-season (following the 0-0 draw with Freiburg).

 

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visitors turn game round with brace

The hosts' lead did not last for long. Hidde ter Avest, Utrecht's right-back left goalscorer Bakker standing before crossing from the byline to Gyrano Kerk. The 25-year-old striker levelled with a pinpoint shot off the inside of the right post (55'). Five minutes later, a goal by Jonathan Tah from a Kerem Demirbay free kick was chalked off – Tah was adjudged to have been offside as in the friendly against Freiburg.

The next goal was again scored by Utrecht's Kerk on 71 minutes with a lob who over Hradecky from a quick counter-attack – Utrecht had turned the game round. Werkself head coach Seoane shuffled his pack bringing on six players in one go. The Dutch also made several changes.

Next quintet come on

Head coach Seoane gave several youth players plus Mitchell Weiser 45 minutes on the pitch from the start of the third third. However, the new players had to look on as a third goal was scored by the opposition – substitute Remco Balk turned a low cross into the net from two metres out to make it 3-1 (102').

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Towards the end of the friendly, youth defender Sadik Fofana was adjudged to have brought down Utrecht's Moussa Sylla in the penalty area and the spot kick was converted by Adrián Dalmau to make it 4-1 (129'). The experienced Spaniard took the second penalty of the match five minutes later – this time Leon Pesch fouled Sylla – and he put the ball past Andrey Lunev for the final score of 5-1..

another friendly on saturday

The Werkself will play their third and final friendly on Saturday, 31 July. The match at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium kicks off at 14.00 CEST. After the Spanish top-flight side Celta Vigo called off the planned match due to positive coronavirus tests, Bayer 04 will announce the new opponents on Thursday. Baumgartlinger and Co. play the first competitive match of the new season on 7 August (kick-off 15.30 CEST) in the first round of the DFB Cup at Regional League club Lokomotive Leipzig.

Match stats:

Bayer 04: Hradecky (Lunev 73’) – Frimpong (Weiser 91’), Kossounou (Retsos 73’), Tah (Fofana 91’), Bakker (L. Pesch 91’) – Baumgartlinger (Eze 73’), Demirbay (Aourir 91’) – Bellarabi (Sinkgraven 73’), Wirtz (Sertdemir 73’), Diaby (N. Pesch 91’) – Alario (Gedikli 73’)

FC Utrecht starting eleven: Oelschlägel – ter Avest, St. Jago, Janssen, Warmerdam – Maher, Timber – Ramselaar – Boussaid, Douvikas, Kerk

Goals: 1-0 Bakker (50’), 1-1 Kerk (55’), 1-2 Kerk (71’), 1-3 Balk (102’), 1-4 Dalmau (128’ pen.), 1-5 Dalmau (133’ pen.)

Referee: Niklas Dardenne (Nettersheim)

Attendance: 350 (sold out) at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium

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