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Tella, Boniface propel Leverkusen to Europa final after Roma draw

Posted : 10 May 2024

Nathan Tella and Victor Boniface, both esteemed members of the Super Eagles, have clinched a spot in the UEFA Europa League final following a gripping 2-2 draw against Roma in the semi-final's second leg at BayArena. Bayer Leverkusen, reigning as German champions, hosted Roma at the BayArena for the pivotal second leg of their semi-final showdown. In the initial leg, Die Werkself had secured a favorable 2-0 victory on Roman soil, granting them a vital advantage.

Despite his notable performance and goal-scoring feat in the previous match against Eintracht Frankfurt, coach Xabi Alonso opted to relegate Boniface to the bench for the second leg. Likewise, Tella, who had initiated the previous encounter, found himself sidelined for the entirety of this critical fixture.

The absence of the two star players did little to sway the momentum of Die Werkself, although they encountered a nerve-wracking challenge. Roma surged ahead with a goal courtesy of Leandro Paredes in the 43rd minute, followed by another strike by the Argentinean in the 68th minute, leveling the aggregate score at 2-2.

Undeterred by the setback, Bayer Leverkusen intensified their offensive efforts in a bid to salvage the match. Their persistence bore fruit in the 82nd minute when Gianluca Mancini inadvertently netted an own goal, tipping the balance in Leverkusen's favor at 2-1.

While this scoreline would have secured Bayer Leverkusen's passage to the final, they were keen on preserving their unbeaten streak. With the match poised to conclude at 2-1, Leverkusen, true to their form throughout the season, conjured a late goal. Josip Stanisic, introduced as a substitute in the 90th minute, delivered the decisive equalizer, extending Bayer Leverkusen's undefeated run to 49 matches and securing their berth in the Europa League final, where they are set to clash against Atalanta.


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