Bremen counters to beat Leverkusen 3-1 in Bundesliga

BERLIN (AP) — Max Kruse opened and finished the scoring for Werder Bremen to beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 away in the Bundesliga and boost its European qualification hopes on Sunday.

The Bremen captain finished off a counterattack spearheaded by brothers Maximilian and Johannes Eggestein in the 14th minute and set up Milot Rashica to score on another counter in the 37th.

Leon Bailey pulled one back with a brilliant free kick in off the crossbar with 15 minutes of normal time remaining, but Kruse sealed Bremen’s win on yet another counterattack in the fifth minute of injury time.

The win lifted Bremen to eighth, three points behind Leverkusen, which has the last place for Europa League qualification with eight rounds of games remaining.

Peter Bosz’s side had put itself in contention with six wins from its last eight games.

Fifth-place Eintracht Frankfurt was hosting relegation-threatened Nuremberg later, before Bayern Munich aimed to reclaim the lead from Borussia Dortmund with a win at home over Mainz.