Haris Seferovic put the ball into the middle on 30 minutes and the Leverkusen pro took aim. Mehmedi's shot flew into the top of the net at the far post and he was immediately mobbed by his teammates. A wonder strike that sealed a deserved win in the World Cup qualifier.
And Hakan Calhanoglu proved reliable yet again. In added time at the end of the first half in Zagreb the Turkey midfielder placed the ball, took a short run-up and fired the ball into the back of the net. Luck was on Hakan's side as is effort was deflected but the strike was enough to secure a 1-1 draw in Croatia and appoint in the opening game of World Cup Qualification Group I. Calhanoglu's Leverkusen teammate Tin Jedvaj spent 90 minutes on the subs bench for Croatia.
As both the other two matches in the group also ended all square at 1-1 there are six teams at the bottom or at the top of the group. One of these games took place in Turku in Finland where Joel Pohjanpalo lined up for his country against newcomers Kosovo. Pohjanpalo played the full 90 minutes.
Vladlen Yurchenko is still waiting for his debut after his first call-up for the senior Ukraine team due to injury. Without him in the squad Ukraine were only able to secure a 1-1 draw against Iceland, the surprise team at Euro 2016. The group will prove to be interesting given there are four Leverkusen players involved.
Julian Baumgartlinger celebrated a special debut: The 28-year-old captained Austria for the first time on Monday night and he put on an impressive display in defensive midfield alongside David Alaba. Austria ended up winning 2-1 in Georgia with new Leverkusen signing Aleksandar Dragovic also playing the full game. Goalkeeper Ramazan Özcan was on the bench.
A Werkself youngster was in action on Monday night when defender Joel Abu Hanna came off the bench on 58 minutes in the 2-1 defeat for the Germany U19's against Netherlands.
Other matches on Tuesday
Robbie Kruse was in the Australia line-up against the United Arab Emirates as the Socceroos earned a deserved 1-0 win in the World Cup qualifier. Kruse went off in the closing minutes after producing an impressive performance. Charles Aránguiz was in the Chile side as La Roja played out a 0-0 draw with Bolivia. Benny Henrichs was in the Germany U21 squad for the 1-0 win away to Finland but he did not play in the match.
The Werkself are looking to seal winning the group against Häcken on matchday five in the UEFA Europa League. Ahead of the game against the Swedish Cup winners on Thursday 30 November (kick-off: 21.00 CET), head coach Xabi Alonso talked about clear aims as well as the busy fixture list up to the winter break – and he recalled a special trip to Gothenburg, tomorrow's venue, as a teenager. Nathan Tella also fielded questions from the journalists on Wednesday night where he spoke about the importance of the Europa League to the club and himself.Show more
Bayer 04 Leverkusen have given U17 player Francis Onyeka a long-term contact. The club has agreed a deal with the 16-year-old to 30 June 2027.Show more
#B04eSports team suffered the first defeat of the season on matchday five in the VBL Club Championship 2023/24. Last night’s other games ended in a win and a draw. The Black and Reds are now fifth in the North West division.Show more
Bayer 04 Leverkusen back continuity at the top of the club. The Bundesliga and Europa League participants have extended the contract with sporting managing director Simon Rolfes to 2028. The former midfielder and long-standing Werkself captain took over this position as the successor to Rudi Völler in the summer of 2022. He was previously the sporting director at Bayer 04 for three and a half years.Show more
The fans have decided: The goal scored by Florian Wirtz to make it 1-0 for Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the 2-1 home win against SC Freiburg was voted Goal of the Month for October with 45 % of the votes cast. The 20-year-old Werkself player won the vote conducted by ARD-Sportschau by a clear margin ahead of second-placed Harry Kane (Bayern Munich).Show more