Goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald secured Werder Bremen a 1-1 draw after defusing a last-minute penalty against Bayer Leverkusen at the opener of the 24th round in Bundesliga on Friday.
Bremen snatched a 1-1 draw on the road as substitute Claudio Pizarro canceled out Kevin Volland’s opener for the “Werkself”. The hosts should have grabbed the lead in the dying minutes but Wiedwald denied Oemer Toprak’s penalty.
The “Green-Whites” ensured the first chance of the game when Theodor Gebre Selassie tested Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno by a header in the opening period.
Meanwhile, the hosts needed just one chance to break the deadlock as Julian Brandt rattled the bar before Kevin Volland utilized the rebound to head home for the opener in the seventh minute.
Bremen failed to respond within the first half, as they were unable to finish off their opportunities. They either pulled wide from promising positions or missed the last pass.
Leverkusen, by the contrary, increased the pressure before the break as Wendell forced custodian Wiedwald to make a safe and Karim Bellarabi missed the target from the edge of the box.
Bellarabi had the chance to double the lead after the restart but Wiedwald was again on guard to maintain the narrow 1-0 deficit.
The visitors punished Leverkusen for their poor chance conversion as veteran Claudio Pizarro, who was fielded two minutes earlier, deflected an effort on target to restore parity with 79 minutes played.
Things went from bad to worse as Leverkusen’s Wendell received his marching orders after booking his second yellow card in the 90th minute.
Nevertheless, the hosts had the golden chance to snatch a late win as Maximilian Eggstein fouled Benjamin Henrichs inside the box in the dying second of the game. Oemer Toprak stepped up and saw his weak shot saved by Wiedwald, who protected the 1-1 draw on the road.
With the result, Leverkusen extended their winless run to three games to stay in 10th place whereas Bremen increased their unbeaten run to four matches to remain 14th.
The following fixtures are scheduled for Saturday: front-runners Bayern Munich host Eintracht Frankfurt, runners-up Leipzig see Wolfsburg, Berlin face third-placed Dortmund, bottom-dwelling Darmstadt encounter, Mainz, Freiburg meet Hoffenheim, and Ingolstadt take on Cologne.
(With Inputs From Xinhua)