Werder Bremen held by Heidenheim in relegation playoff

Bremen is looking to retain its top-flight status having spent just one season outside the Bundesliga since it was formed ahead of the 1963-64 campaign.

Bremen's Milot Rashica, left, and Heidenheim's Marnon Busch challenge for the ball during the German Bundesliga relegation first leg match.   -  AP

Werder Bremen's top-flight status was hanging by a thread after it was held to a goalless home draw by second-tier Heidenheim in the first leg of it 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-time German champion Bremen, which finished the game with 10 men after a late second yellow card for Niklas Moisander, is looking to retain its 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 has never played in the top flight. It will host the second leg on Monday.

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