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17.11.2022Bayer 04

#Bayer04USATour – Werkself win inaugural match at CITYPARK Stadium in St. Louis

The Werkself beat St Louis CITY SC 3-0 in the friendly in the USA. In the first match in the newly built CITYPARK Stadium of the future MLS club, filled to capacity with a crowd of 22,500, Callum Hudson-Odoi scored the opener (36'), Adam Hlozek netted a brace (44', 51') to round off the scoring.
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Head coach Xabi Alonso started a number of first-team regulars including Jonathan Tah, Robert Andrich and Callum Hudson-Odoi and, from the travelling youth players, Zidan Sertdemir began in the position of playmaker. The hosts lined up with former Bundesliga players Roman Bürki (Borussia Dortmund), Eduard Löwen (Hertha Berlin) and Tomas Ostrák (FC Köln).

Before kick-off, the 22,500 fans at the sold-out CITYPARK Stadium rose for live renditions of the national anthems of the USA and Germany – emotional moments ahead of the first kick-off in the newly built home ground of St. Louis CITY SC. After a joint group photo of the two teams, the referee started the game.

Tah goal chalked off – Hudson-Odoi scores

In chilly temperatures, most of the early action was in midfield with the first attempt on the goal of Roman Bürki coming from Werkself youngster Zidan Sertdemir with a header on 16 minutes. Adam Hlozek also attempted to score from ten yards out (19'). The offensive pressure of the Bundesliga side gradually increased during this phase of the game. At the other end, the former FC Köln player Tomas Ostrák tried a long-range effort (25') with the first goal attempt from the hosts.

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The ball was in the net for the first time two minutes later when Tah volleyed into the top corner. However, the ball was over the line before the cross from Callum Hudson-Odoi so the score remained 0-0. That changed on 36 minutes with the first-ever goal at the CITYPARK Stadium – and it was scored by the Werkself. A low cross was played on with a backheel from Hlozek leaving Hudson-Odoi with a tap-in from three yards out. Hlozek doubled the lead at 2-0 (44') with a shot from a tight angle just before half-time after good work from Hudson-Odoi. The Black and Reds took the lead into the break.

Hlozek scores again – Lomb impresses

Head coach Xabi Alonso made four changes at half-time: Moussa Diaby, Nadiem Amiri and Madi Monamay (U19 player) replaced Karim Bellarabi, Kerem Demirbay and Joshua Eze with Niklas Lomb going in goal in place of Andrey Lunev. At the other end, former Hoffenheim player Joao Klauss played up front of the start of the second half. But the third goal was scored by the Werkself: Hlozek converted an assist from Mitchel Bakker to make it 3-0 (51').

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The hosts had the next big chances but the Bayer 04 keeper Niklas Lomb was in fine form and he made two impressive flying saves (72', 73',) to deny both Célio Pompeu and Akil Watts. The action on the pitch at the CITYPARK Stadium settled down from that point but the fans continued to provide vocal support to both teams until long after the final whistle – and thereby ensured a fitting stage for the first match in the new St. Louis stadium. For St. Louis CITY SC it was a successful test ahead of the first MLS season and a successful conclusion of the #Bayer04USATour for the Werkself.

first a break, then friendly in Scotland

The Werkself now take a well-deserved two-week break after the #Bayer04USATour. Head coach Xabi Alonso will welcome his squad back to training in Leverkusen from 1 to 18 December and Bayer 04 have a friendly against Scottish record champions Rangers in Scotland (10 December) during that time.

Match stats:

St. Louis: Bürki – Di Rosa (Glover 74'), Hiebert, Yaro, Pidro (E. Armstrong 61' ) – Löwen (Kuzain 61'), Jensen (61. Perez 61') – Watts, Ostrák (Palazzolo 74'), Pompeu (Heard 74') – Dolling (Klauss 46’, D. Armstrong 84’)

Bayer 04: Lunev – Azhil, Tah, Eze (Monamay 46’), Bakker – Andrich, Demirbay (Amiri 46’) – Bellarabi (Diaby 46’), Sertdemir, Hudson-Odoi – Hlozek

Goals: 0-1 Hudson-Odoi (36’), 0-2 Hlozek (44’), 0-3 Hlozek (51’)

Booked: Pidro – Eze, Sertdemir

Attendance: 22,500 (sell out) at CITYPARK Stadium

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