Leverkusen battle past Santa Fe in Florida Cup

All eyes were on Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez as Bayer 04 Leverkusen took on Colombia’s Independiente Santa Fe in their opening fixture of the Florida Cup 2016, but it was a member of the old guard who scored the only goal of the game on Sunday.

'Chicharito' targets top-four finish with Leverkusen.

The Mexican superstar was withdrawn at half time in Orlando, leaving veteran striker Stefan Kießling to settle a testing workout in Leverkusen's favour three minutes from time.

'It could have been more'

"It was a hard-fought win,” Leverkusen forward Julian Brandt told Bayer 04-TV after the game. "It wasn’t easy, but we had the better chances and that’s why we deserved to win. Santa Fe play aggressively. It took a while for us to get going. It could have been more, but there’s no doubt there was a great atmosphere. Stefan’s in great form and hopefully that’ll continue when the Bundesliga gets back up and running."

Leverkusen, who finished the first half of the season in fifth place, resume their Bundesliga campaign with a trip to rock-bottom TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on 23 January, but not before contesting their second, and possibly final, Florida Cup 2016 fixture against Brazilian outfit SC Internacional on 13 January.