Leverkusen beats Augsburg, eyeing Champions League place

Leverkusen's Moussa Diaby, left, celebrates with Jonathan Tah, second from left, after scoring his side opening goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match. (Rolf Vennenbernd/AP)

BERLIN — Bayer Leverkusen staked its claim for a Champions League qualification place with a 2-0 win at home over Augsburg in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Goals in each half from Moussa Diaby and Nadiem Amiri were enough for Peter Bosz’s side to move level on 43 points with fourth-place Borussia Moenchengladbach, which has a better goal difference. In Germany, the top four qualify for Europe’s premier competition.

Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz became the third youngest player in the league to reach 50 wins after Julian Draxler (20 years, 232 days) and Christian Pulisic (20 years, 235 days). Havertz, aged 20 and 249 days, set up Diaby’s goal in the 25th minute with a brilliant through ball for the French forward.

The home side should have scored before Amiri made it 2-0 in the 59th. Sven Bender sent the ball on and five Augsburg defenders failed to close Amiri down before he scored his first Bundesliga goal for Leverkusen since joining in the summer from Hoffenheim.

Havertz almost scored a brilliant third minutes later but his effort crashed back off the crossbar.

It was Leverkusen’s fifth consecutive win in all competitions.

Augsburg remained 11th, one point ahead of Union Berlin, which visits Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday.

Wolfsburg was hosting Mainz later Sunday.

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