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 Nigeria striker Boniface scores again to send Leverkusen top of Bundesliga



Leverkusen s Victor Boniface defends the ball against Cologne s Davie Selke during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and FC Cologne at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023. AP

Victor Boniface scored again Sunday as Bayer Leverkusen returned to the top of the Bundesliga with a 3-0 win over local rival Cologne.

The Nigeria forward completed the scoring in the 68th minute against Cologne, which had won on its previous two visits to Leverkusen but remains bottom with just one point from its opening seven games.

Jonas Hofmann opened the scoring in the 22nd when he swept the ball inside the right post after Florian Wirtz set him up with his heel. Boniface had some fortune in the buildup with the bounce of the ball but the visitors’ protests for hand ball were dismissed. Cologne coach Steffen Baumgart was booked for his reaction, as was Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong for telling the referee to book Baumgart.

Leverkusen was dominating play and Alex Grimaldo whipped the ball across the face of goal for Frimpong to score the second in the 32nd.

Cologne goalkeeper Marvin Schwäbe prevented Frimpong from scoring Leverkusen’s third early in the second half, but he was powerless to stop Hofmann crossing for Boniface’s easy finish to seal it. It was Boniface’s seventh goal of the season, helped by Frimpong, whose perfectly weighted pass sent Hofmann through.


Boniface almost scored again late on when his shot whizzed past the far post.

Defending champion Bayern Munich hosted Freiburg later Sunday, before promoted Heidenheim traveled to Eintracht Frankfurt for the late game.




Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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