No beer for Okugawa after Bielefeld shock Leverkusen


Berlin (AFP) – Japanese midfielder Masaya Okugawa said he would not celebrate his first Bundesliga goal with a German beer after firing Arminia Bielefeld to a surprise, smash-and-grab 2-1 win away to Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.

Okugawa and fellow Japanese star Ritsu Doan scored either side of half-time to lift Bielefeld out of the bottom three for the first time since January and deal an untimely blow to Leverkusen’s Champions League qualification hopes.

“To score my first Bundesliga goal in such an important win is brilliant,” Okugawa told broadcaster DAZN. 

Asked whether he would be having a drink to celebrate, the Japanese replied: “No! I don’t like beer!”

While Arminia now sit one point clear of the drop zone, Leverkusen have dropped to sixth and are three points adrift of the top four. 

After a dominant first 15 minutes from the hosts, Bielefeld took the lead with their first shot on goal.

Given acres of space on the right wing, Christian Gebauer’s cross found the advancing Doan, who prodded the ball in off the bar to score his fourth league goal of the season.

Leverkusen continued to dominate in the second half, before Okugawa doubled the lead on the counter-attack just before the hour mark. 

One-on-one with Leverkusen keeper Lennart Grill, the 24-year-old Japanese kept a cool head to slot home his first Bundesliga goal since joining Bielefeld on loan from Red Bull Salzburg in January. 

Patrik Schick’s 85th minute tap-in gave Leverkusen brief hope of a late fightback, but Bielefeld held on to claim only their sixth win of the season.

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