Werder Bremen's top-flight status is hanging by a thread after they were held to a goalless home draw by second-tier Heidenheim in the first leg of their Bundesliga promotion/relegation playoff on Thursday.
In a match with few chances, the closest either side came to scoring was a stoppage-time opportunity for Bremen midfielder Leonardo Bittencourt that was blocked by a defender when he had the goal at his mercy.
Four-times German champions Bremen, who finished the game with 10 men after a late second yellow card for Niklas Moisander, are looking to retain their top-flight status having spent just one season outside the Bundesliga since it was formed ahead of the 1963-64 campaign.
Heidenheim finished third in Bundesliga 2 and have never played in the top flight. They will host the second leg on Monday.