Bayer 04 Leverkusen played out a hugely entertaining 3-3 draw against SC Internacional in their final Florida Cup game on Wednesday.
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Despite trailing 2-0 inside the first ten minutes, Roger Schmidt’s men recovered to force a draw, with man of the moment Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez adding another two goals to his season tally to send his legion of fans into raptures.
Chicharito stars after Bayer's slow start
Amid a carnival atmosphere at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Stadium, with music, fireworks and Walt Disney’s Goofy and Pluto acting as mascots, Leverkusen started sluggishly, with Eduardo’s volley and a penalty from former VfL Wolfsburg man Andres d’Alessandro putting their Brazilian opponents in control.
Chicharito could not be kept quiet for long, however, and after converting a spot-kick of his own following a foul on Hakan Calhanoglu, he then restored parity with a deflected shot that crept in at the near post.
After the Mexican international rattled the crossbar with a stunning left-foot volley, Internacional retook the lead with a cool finish from Andrigo. It was Bayer that would have the final say, however, as the effervescent Karim Bellarabi’s cross could only be turned into his own net by defender Alan.
Roger Schmidt (Leverkusen coach): “It was a great way to end [the training camp] and a terrific football match. I think we had the better chances and could certainly have won, but if you consider we were 2-0 down so early and that we came back and might even have won it, you can’t ask for a better finish. We’ve had no injuries and all the players came through the game well, so I’m very satisfied about that. The game really reflected the 12 days we’ve had here."