BERLIN, Germany (AP) – Michal Kadlec scored a late goal for Bayer Leverkusen to beat Werder Bremen 1-0 at home Sunday, giving the Bundesliga runner-up its first win of the new season.
Kadlec scored at the second attempt following Gonzalo Castro's corner in the 85th minute. The Czech defender's initial header was blocked by teammate Eren Derdiyok's back, before Simon Rolfes lobbed the ball back in for Kadlec to score via the right post.
''We didn't believe in ourselves nor in the victory,'' Werder coach Thomas Schaaf said. ''If we had attacked with more determination, there would have been more for us to take out (of the game).''
Leverkusen, with former Germany captain Michael Ballack restored to the starting lineup, looked short of ideas and struggled to break down the visiting defense.
Lennart Thy should have scored for Werder with the game's best chance in the 35th, when he hooked the ball over from just one meter (yard) out.
Andre Schuerrle's determination helped create a chance for Stefan Kiessling before the interval, only for Tim Wiese to produce a flying save.
Werder coach Thomas Schaaf reacted to his side's lack of goal-threat by bringing on Marko Marin and Peru striker Claudio Pizarro in the 61st. Marin shot to the left shortly afterward.
Wiese's impressive save denied a 20-meter (yard) free kick from Kadlec in the 76th, before Aaron Hunt almost surprised loan signing Bernd Leno on his Bundesliga debut at the other end.
The 19-year-old Leno, Leverkusen's third attempt at replacing the injured Rene Adler, gathered the ball at the second attempt.
Kadlec's late winner eases some of the pressure on Leverkusen coach Robin Dutt.
''The victory was important for our team because the work is easier with success,'' the 49-year-old Dutt said.
Earlier, Israel striker Itay Shechter scored a late equalizer for Kaiserslautern in a 1-1 draw to deny Augsburg its first ever Bundesliga win.
Shechter scored in the 80th minute for the home side, two minutes after Augsburg coach Jos Luhukay took off winger Marcel Ndjeng for a defender to safeguard the lead.
Sascha Moelders opened the scoring in the ninth, when Daniel Baier capitalized on a slip from Brazilian defender Rodnei before launching the ball forward for the 26-year-old. Moelders cut inside to see off Mathias Abel before coolly firing to the top left corner for his - and Augsburg's - third goal of the season.
''We made a glaring mistake and were uncertain after it,'' Kaiserslautern coach Marco Kurz said. ''We were too disheartened and failed to take the initiative.''
Ndjeng rounded Kaiserslautern 'keeper Kevin Trapp in the 19th, only to see Florian Dick clear his shot off the line, and former Kaiserslautern captain Axel Bellinghausen fired narrowly wide as Augsburg enjoyed chances to extend its lead.
Kaiserslautern improved after the break, when Richard Sukuta-Pasu, Ivo Ilicevic and Shechter all went close.
Simon Jentzsch pulled off a great save to deny Dorge Rostand Kouemaha in the 74th, and another to block Sukuta-Pasu's effort two minutes later.
Shechter scored a deserved equalizer when he eluded two Augsburg defenders before shooting low to the right of Jentzsch.
Akaki Gogia hit the post with a free kick for Augsburg, before Trapp emerged from goal with a crucial tackle to deny Moelders a winning goal in injury time.
''We played well over 90 minutes,'' Bellinghausen said. ''From the chances we created, I think we were better.''