BERLIN (Reuters) - Bayer Leverkusen’s Lucas Alario scored and set up another goal in a 3-0 victory over Hamburg SV on Sunday in a memorable debut for the Argentine striker, whose Bundesliga start was delayed over a contract dispute with former club River Plate.
The 24-year-old Alario, who joined for a reported fee of 19 million euros ($22.71 million), had been training with Leverkusen for weeks after his buyout clause was activated in August.
Leverkusen, however, had to wait until Thursday for a final ruling by world soccer body FIFA that cleared Alario to play, after the Argentine football federation and River Plate had refused to release the player.
He instantly delivered on the pitch, sliding in for Leverkusen’s second goal in the 23rd minute, three minutes after Kevin Volland had put the hosts ahead.
He then set up Volland for Leverkusen’s third goal in the 83rd to lift his club out of the bottom spots with their second win of the season and into 10th on seven points.
Cologne earned their first point of the season after their 0-0 draw at in-form Hanover 96.
Undefeated Hanover, who are fourth on 12 points, should have scored in a dominant first half and wasted more opportunities through Salif Sane and Martin Harnik after the break.
But Cologne held on for their first point after five straight losses.
Borussia Dortmund are top on 16 points, after their 6-1 demolition of Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday.
They are two ahead of Hoffenheim, winners 2-0 over Schalke 04, and three clear of champions Bayern Munich, who wasted a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw against VfL Wolfsburg on Friday.
($1 = 0.8367 euros)
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Toby Davis