Bremen hold Leverkusen to 1-1 draw on coach Korkut’s debut
LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) — Werder Bremen goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald saved a last-second penalty to preserve a 1-1 draw at Bayer Leverkusen and deny coach Tayfun Korkut a winning start in the Bundesliga on Friday.
Omer Toprak had the chance to win the game in the sixth minute of injury time after Maximilian Eggestein fouled Benjamin Henrichs to concede the spot kick.
Substitute Claudio Pizarro’s late equalizer denied Korkut, who took over from the sacked Roger Schmidt on Monday, a confidence-boosting victory for Leverkusen to recover from its worst Bundesliga season in 14 years.
Kevin Volland headed the home side off to a flying start in the sixth minute when he was first to react after Julian Brandt’s effort crashed off the crossbar.
Bremen might have equalized against the shaky-looking home defense but the visitors were missing top-scorer Serge Gnabry due to back problems.
They kept pushing and the equalizer duly came with just over 10 minutes remaining when Pizarro, who had been on the pitch for only three minutes, deflected Robert Bauer’s effort inside the far post with his stomach.
Leverkusen defender Wendell was sent off in the last minute with his second yellow card.
Leverkusen stayed 10th ahead of the rest of the 24th round while Bremen moved three points above relegation rivals Wolfsburg and Hamburger SV.