Striker Nils Petersen carried Bremen to victory over Hannover with two late goals at home. Bremen advanced to 11th in the table, just one point behind their vanquished opponents.
Despite pouring rain and a false start during the first half, Werder Bremen on Friday managed to pull off a 2-0 victory against Hannover in front of a sold-out stadium, putting the hosts one place higher in the league table.
"There's no question about it: This victory was absolutely earned," Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf said. "We did a lot of things better; we didn’t let up. It would have been terrible if we hadn't made those goals."
But the match opened with several missed opportunities for the hosts, with Bremen nearly taking the lead mutliple times during the first 20 minutes of play. Already in the second minute, Assani Lukimya put a header onto the crossbar, while Mehmet Ekici, Zlatko Junuzovic and Sokratis also made attempts in rapid succession, but to no avail.
The guests had their opportunity in the 17th minute, when Mame Diouf appeared in front of Bremen's goalkeeper, Sebastian Mielitz, but was unable to find the target.
Shortly before the end of the first half, Hannover's Mohammed Abdellaoue had to leave the pitch after suffering a knee injury. With Hannover already weakened by several injuries going into the match, this gave Bremen the clear advantage.
Late victory for Bremen
It was striker Nils Petersen who finally managed to secure the lead for the hosts and ultimately victory, albeit late in the second half.
In the 85th minute, Petersen finished near the post from a cross from the right by Dutch winger Eljero Elia. Three minutes later, the former Bayern Munich striker volleyed his second after Elia began a counterattack and Özkan Yildiram provided the pass from the left.
"Bremen earned it," Hannover captain Jan Schlaudraff said. "We had very little to counter with. In the second half we just stood there."
slk/bk (dpa, SID)