Leverkusen claim late win over Mainz
Mainz pulled a goal back through Eugen Polanski in the 50th minute and Marco Caligiuri equalised three minutes later, but the hosts had the final say with Bender nodding home in the 70th minute. Leverkusen remain sixth in the standings while Mainz, now winless in five, are 15th.
Leverkusen took the lead in the tenth minute when Pospech struck Danny Da Costa's cross from the right side past his own goalkeeper. The hosts doubled their advantage before half-time when Friedrich headed home from five yards after Gonzalo Castro's corner from the left side eluded the visiting defence.
Leverkusen appeared to be in control but Mainz pulled a goal back five minutes into the second period when Polanski fired home on the rebound after Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno had saved from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
The visitors were level three minutes later when Caligiuri lofted a fine shot over Leno, but their good work was undone in the final quarter of the match when another set-piece restored the hosts' lead.
This time it was Michal Kadlec's corner that Mainz failed to clear, allowing Bender to head home the winner. Mainz might have snatched a point late on when Adam Szalai went down under a challenge from Kadlec in the area but referee Michael Weiner elected not to point to the spot.