Mainz 05 held on to secure a 0-0 draw against Darmstadt in the Bundesliga on Sunday, despite Giulio Donati receiving a red card early in the second half.
Mainz 0 Darmstadt 0
Messy first half
Action picked up after the break
Donati sent off
Darmstadt fail to take advantage
There were few clear-cut chances in the first half as the two teams nervously felt out each other's tactics. Jairo Samperio went close for Mainz 05 while Rausch had Darmstadt's best chance.
The action picked up after the break when Mainz 05 were reduced to 10 men, Donati picking up a red card for violent behaviour.
Darmstadt pushed for a winning goal but were thwarted time and again by some resolute defending from the hosts as they held on for a point.
It took a full 10 minutes for the first real chance of the match to materialise when Konstantin Rausch sent a long-range free-kick narrowly over the bar.
Mainz 05 responded instantly as Julian Baumgartlinger made some space for himself with a neat turn a minute later, but he pulled his shot wide of the left post.
Jairo Samperio squandered the home team's best chance of the first half 16 minutes into the game after he picked up a killer through-ball in the box but his shot was denied by a desperate diving challenge.
Paulo De Blasis was denied twice in the space of a minute around the half-hour mark. His first shot was saved off the line by Aytac Sulu before he sent his header from the resulting corner just wide.
The second half also began slowly with the only chance in the first 10 minutes after the break falling to Jhon Cordoba, but he was denied by a fine save from Christian Mathenia.
The match was flipped on its head in the 57th minute when Donati reacted angrily to referee Benjamin Brand's decision to award a foul against him and was duly dismissed for his protests.
Darmstadt moved up the pitch in search of a winning goal with Rausch heading narrowly over in the 62nd minute.
Mario Vrancic was denied by Mathenia in the 77th minute before Wagner disappointingly sent a free-kick in a dangerous position harmlessly over the bar four minutes later.
In the end, Mainz 05 survived the onslaught and held on for a 0-0 draw to preserve their fifth position in the Bundesliga table.