"It's an absolutely disappointing result," was the remorseless assessment of Heiko Herrlich. "Bonn grew stronger after making it 2-1. It's almost as if we were begging for the equaliser. One or two players might have thought they could manage with 50 per cent effort. But that's not enough – even though you can't forget that we're in the pre-season," added the clearly unhappy Bayer 04 coach.
Herrlich again had to make do without the Confed Cup participants (Bernd Leno, Benjamin Henrichs, Julian Brandt, Chicharito, Charles Aranguiz). In addition, Ramalho, Lars Bender and Stefan Kießling were rested as were Jonathan Tah and U21 European Champion Dominik Kohr having just returned from holiday. New signing Sven Bender, greeted with loud applause from the 1,400 supporters in the Sportpark Nord, made his debut in a Werkself shirt.
The Werkself were first out of the blocks against the Regional League side driven on by the lively and impressive Kevin Kampl, Leon Bailey and Karim Bellarabi. And the deadlock was broken on nine minutes: Kampl broke through into the Bonn penalty area after a backheel from Bailey and made no mistake as he put the Werkself 1-0 up. Herrlich's men were creating chance after chance as the game went on. However, Julian Baumgartlinger, Kai Havertz, Kevin Volland and Bellarabi were unable to put the ball in the back of the 'Rhine Lions' net. Bonn were lucky to go into half-time just one goal down.
Herrlich made eight changes at half-time but opted to continue with Kampl, Baumgartlinger and goalkeeper Niklas Lomb. As in the first 45 minutes, the Werkself continued to dominate the game but failed to convert a number of clear-cut chances. The Black and Reds finally went 2-0 up on 65 minutes when Yurchenko converted a penalty.
The hosts surprisingly pulled a goal back six minutes later through Joran Sobiech. The team coached by former Leverkusen youth coach Daniel Zillken, who start their league campaign next week, grew ever stronger and looked dangerous on the break. The Werkself appeared to fade and attacking moves dwindled. The inevitable happened with four minutes to play: Bonn's Jannick Stoffels hit a 40-yard drive into the bottom left corner of the Bayer 04 goal – to level at 2-2.
The next friendly for the Werkself is on Sunday (14.30 CET) away to second division SV Sandhausen. The Bayer 04 pros then head off to the training camp in Zell am See on Monday.
Bayer 04: Lomb – Bednarczyk (Frey 46’), Dragovic (Akkaynak 46’), S. Bender (Abu Hanna 46’), Wendell (Handwerker 46’) – Baumgartlinger, Kampl – Bellarabi (Schreck 46’), Bailey (Mehmedi 46’) – Havertz (Yurchenko 46’), Volland (Pohjanpalo 46’).
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
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BK Häcken have yet to gain a point in Group H. The club from Gothenburg entertain the Werkself on Thursday 30 November (kick-off: 21.00 CET). Häcken will be looking to improve their record in the last European home game of the year against the group leaders.Show more