BERLIN (AP) — Hamburger SV inched another step closer to its first demotion from the Bundesliga after being held to a 0-0 draw by relegation-rival Mainz on Saturday.
Hamburg, which had a host of chances including a penalty from Filip Kostic, remains seven points from safety with nine games remaining after its 12th successive match without a win.
Hamburg, the only founding member never relegated since the Bundesliga started in 1963, is having its worst season with just four wins in 26 games. Last-place Cologne could move above the side with a win over visiting Stuttgart on Sunday.
Mainz remains in the relegation playoff place, level on points with Wolfsburg, beaten 2-1 at home by Bayer Leverkusen.
Hamburg made the better start and almost took the lead through Kostic in the 22nd minute, when Mainz goakeeper Florian Mueller’s fingertips pushed the ball onto the crossbar.
Kostic thought he’d scored minutes later, but the celebrations were cut short when video analysis showed he was offside.
The home side kept pushing and Rick van Drongelen struck the crossbar again after the break, before Kostic had his chance from the penalty spot, only to be thwarted by Mueller.
Leon Balogun, who conceded the spot kick for bundling over Luca Waldschmidt, was sent off with his second yellow card for the challenge, giving Hamburg a one-man advantage for the final half-hour.
But Hamburg still couldn’t find a breakthrough despite 18 efforts at goal overall compared to the visitors’ five.
Schalke moved second with a 1-0 win at home over Hertha Berlin, Eintracht Frankfurt jumped to third with a 1-0 win over Hannover, and Hoffenheim won 2-0 at Augsburg to move seventh.
Leipzig was hosting Borussia Dortmund later Saturday.
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