A fine finish by Florian Wirtz saved Bayer Leverkusen from a 1-1 draw at home to Union St. Gilloise in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final.
Wirtz struck in the 82nd minute just when it looked like Leverkusen’s lavish performance would make them the next victims of Union’s acclaimed fairy tale.
In the Belgian second division just two years ago, and now enjoying their first European campaign since 1964-65, Union have already eliminated another Bundesliga team in the eponymous Union Berlin.
Viktor Boniface scored twice away from home in this Round of 16 match to score his sixth Europa League goal of the season when he calmly beat Lukasz Hradecky from the left side of the penalty area six minutes into the second half. on Thursday.
The closest both teams had come to scoring a goal before was when Jonathan Tah unwittingly elbowed the ball into his crossbar from a Union corner.
There was no shortage of drive at Leverkusen, but the quality needed was missing until Wirtz equalized from outside the penalty area.