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Half-Time Report: Hakan Calhanoglu puts Bayer Leverkusen in front at the break

Hakan Calhanoglu's first-half effort gives Bayer Leverkusen a vital 1-0 half-time lead over Lazio in the second leg of their Champions League qualifier in Germany.

Hakan Calhanoglu's first-half effort has given Bayer Leverkusen a vital 1-0 half-time lead over visitors Lazio in the second leg of their Champions League qualifying clash this evening.

Lazio started the game in a positive fashion and Keita Balde almost put the Italians in front, only for Bernd Leno to recover well to keep out the striker's attempt.

Leverkusen were next in and they might have found a vital leveller with Lazio leading 1-0 on aggregate, but Karim Bellarabi fired wide of the post.

The home side were more than aware that they needed a goal to get back into the contest, and they almost found it through Calhanoglu, who saw his long-range effort kept out smartly by Etrit Berisha.

Bayer continued to knock on the door and it almost burst open when Calhanoglu crossed into the box, where Stefan Kiessling was left free to head his effort straight onto a post.

With the contest opening up towards the end of the half, Leverkusen almost came unstuck when Keita turned cleverly to fire and force a save from Leno down at his near post.

The German side did, however, manage to get the necessary goal just before the break thanks to Calhanoglu, as he capped off an impressive first half by finishing from a loose ball to make it 1-1 on aggregate.

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Leverkusen's midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu (L) scores his team's opening goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match Hannover 96 v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, on August 22, 2015
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