Boniface shines as Leverkusen down Darmstadt in 6-goal thriller


Victor Boniface, who has been named on Nigeria’s expanded roster for a dead rubber 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against São Tomé and Príncipe, continued his rich vein of form at the weekend as Bayer Leverkusen thrashed Darmstadt 5-1 to go provisionally top of the table.

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Boniface netted a brace to equal a German Bundesliga record held by Borussia Dortmund old boys Paco Alcacer and Erling Haaland, who now wear the colours of Sharjah and Manchester City respectively.

According to the statisticians at OPTA, Boniface is only the third Bundesliga player with six goal contributions in his first three Bundesliga games (4 goals, 2 assists) on record (since opta’s data collection in 2004-05), after Dortmund’s Paco Alcacer in 2018 and Erling Haaland in 2020.

Boniface’s first goal involvement in the division came against RB Leipzig on the opening day of the season and he got his first pair of goals at Borussia Mönchengladbach before scoring twice and registering an assist in their win against Darmstadt.

Against Darmstadt, the former Royale Union Saint-Gilloise striker jinked past two players before clipping an exquisite finish over the goalkeeper to open the scoring after twenty minutes.

After Exequiel Palacios made it 2-1, Boniface doubled Bayer Leverkusen’s advantage in the 61st minute when he finished with his left foot after he was teed up by Florian Wirtz.

He wasn’t done yet as he rolled a pass into the feet of Hofmann, who slammed the ball into the net for Bayer Leverkusen’s fourth goal at minute 67.

Including his strike against Teutonia 05 in the DFB Pokal, Boniface has directly participated in seven goals in the new season, helping Xabi Alonso’s side register four wins on the bounce.