Leverkusen became the land of the rising Bielefeld as Japanese duo Ritsu Doan and Masaya Okugawa struck in a 2-1 win which lifted the East Westphalians out of the relegation zone on Matchday 25.
Nadiem Amiri took a lick of paint off the left-hand post as he fired the first shot of the game wide after five minutes, with the hosts making the better of starts. The guests needed just one chance to go in front, though, with Doan sliding in ahead of Edmond Tapsoba to turn Christian Gebauer's inviting low cross in off the underside of the crossbar for his fourth goal of the season. Demarai Gray's volley from close range was palmed away instinctively by Stefan Ortega, who may have had the most work to do of the two goalkeepers in the first 45 minutes, but unlike Lennart Grill at the other end of the field, crucially he did not have to fish the ball out of his own net.
Grill had to do that for the second time just over 10 minutes into the second half as the counter-attacking guests struck once again. Anderson Lucoqui was the provider, but it was Okugawa who did the hard work to score a first Bundesliga goal he will not forget in a rush, with Grill unable to keep his shot out. Florian Wirtz was sent on by Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz and, while he increased Die Werkself's attacking threat, Bielefeld continued to defend in numbers and block all routes to goal. Schick did finally find a way through, turning a loose ball in after Lucas Alario hooked it back from the goalline, but it was too little too late as the guests held on for a crucial away win.
- Doan's fourth Bundesliga goal was his first away from home.
- Okugawa scored his first Bundesliga goal, but not his first against Bundesliga opponents: he also scored for Red Bull Salzburg against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League last November.
- This was only the second time two Japanese players have scored for one team in the same Bundesliga fixture. Hiroki Sakai and Hiroshi Kiyotake were last to do that for Hannover against Ingolstadt in 2016.
- Twelve different players have supplied Bielefeld's 20 goals this season.
- Schick has scored Leverkusen's last two Bundesliga goals.
Watch: Doan: "We deserved three points"
Leverkusen: Grill - Frimpong, Tah, Tapsoba, Wendell - Amiri, Aranguiz (c), Demirbay (Alario 46') - Gray (Bailey 46'), Schick, Diaby (Wirtz 65')
Unused subs: Lomb, Dragovic, Jedvaj, Weiser, Palacios, Bellarabi
Out: Arias (ankle), Baumgartlinger (knee), L. Bender (knee), S. Bender (knee), Fosu-Mensah (knee), Hradecky (heel), Paulinho (knee), Sinkgraven (thigh)
Coach: Peter Bosz
Bielefeld: Ortega - Brunner, Pieper, Nilsson, Lucoqui (Voglsammer 76') - Maier, Prietl - Doan (Cordova 88'), Okuwaga (Kunze 81'), Gebauer (Van der Hoorn 88')- Klos (c) (Schipplock 81-)
Unused subs: Linner, Hartel, Consbruch, Vlap
Out: Edmundsson (muscular), Laursen (thigh), de Medina (suspended), Soukou (knock), Yabo (knock)
Coach: Frank Kramer