Chicharito leads Bayer Leverkusen to 3-1 win at Augsburg

AUGSBURG, Germany (AP) " Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez scored twice in a 3-1 win for Bayer Leverkusen at Augsburg in the Bundesliga on Friday, easing the pressure on coach Roger Schmidt.

Despite a good 3-0 win over third-place Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend, speculation continued during the week that Leverkusen was looking for a replacement for Schmidt after an inconsistent season so far.

Augsburg made the better start but the visitors turned the game around with their quick-passing forwards and Karim Bellarabi broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute.

Julian Brandt and Chicharito combined before finding the 17-year-old Kai Havertz to cross for Bellarabi from the right.

It was the first goal of the 21st round and the league's 50,000th going back to 1963.

Koo Ja-cheol missed the chance to equalize in a one-on-one with Bernd Leno shortly afterward and the home side was to rue the miss when Chicharito made it 2-0 five minutes before the break.

The Mexican striker feinted and waited for Augsburg 'keeper Marvin Hitz to go to ground before firing to the far corner for his ninth of the campaign.

Koo set up Dominik Kohr for Augsburg to pull one back after an hour played, but any hopes of a comeback were dented when Chicharito claimed his second minutes later, set up with a brilliant pass from the impressive Havertz.

Leverkusen climbed to eighth before the rest of the round. Schmidt's ultimate fate likely hinges on the Champions League games against Atletico Madrid. Leverkusen hosts the Spanish side for the first leg of their round-of-16 clash on Tuesday.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 23 Mar 2017 16:24:17 Processing Time: 494ms