Soccer-Leverkusen coach Lewandowski enjoys winning start


* Lewandowski took over from sacked Sami Hyypia

* Hoffenheim ease past Augsburg (Updates with quotes, details, Hoffenheim win)

BERLIN, April 13 (Reuters) - Bayer Leverkusen bounced back after a recent bad run to beat Hertha Berlin 2-1 on Sunday and move back up to fourth place in the Bundesliga, celebrating a winning debut for new coach Sascha Lewandowski.

Leverkusen, who sacked Sami Hyypia last week after only one win in their previous nine league games, grabbed a first-minute lead through Stefan Kiessling's 15th league goal of the season.

Julian Brandt gave them a two-goal cushion after Son Heung-min's well-timed pass in the box.

Hertha, without injured top striker Adrian Ramos, came back before the break, cutting the deficit against the run of play with Ramos's replacement Sandro Wagner's header.

"We are extremely happy because our last win dates back quite some time," Lewandowski, who in 2012/13 was co-coach with Hyypia before returning to the club's youth teams, told reporters.

"I know the team, the situation and I can get into it much quicker. We still have some construction sites, no question about that. There is still insecurity there."

Leverkusen's previous home win dated back to February 1.

Apart from a Sami Allagui deflected shot that hit the bar, Hertha rarely threatened in the second half as Lewandowski celebrated a successful start.

Leverkusen reclaimed the fourth place that leads to the Champions League qualifying rounds, a point ahead of VfL Wolfsburg with four games left.

Hertha have now failed to win any of their last eight league games, just about ending any lingering hopes of a Europa League spot.

Hoffenheim maintained their outside chance of a place in the top six with a 2-0 victory over Augsburg to move up to 40 points in ninth place.

They took the lead through a pinpoint Sejad Salihovic free kick watched from the stands by midfielder Boris Vukcevic for the first time since a near-fatal car crash in September 2012 after which he spent several weeks in a coma.

Jannik Vestergaard benefited from some ping-pong football to head in four minutes from halftime as Hoffenheim keeper Jens Grahl, replacing injured Koen Casteels, made several superb saves to protect their lead.

Champions Bayern Munich slumped to a 3-0 defeat by second-placed Borussia Dortmund on Saturday to see their lead cut to 17 points with Dortmund three points clear of second-placed Schalke 04. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Tony Goodson)

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