Marcus Ingvartsen netted a well-taken free kick to earn 10-man Union Berlin a hard-fought 1-1 draw against fellow strugglers Mainz in their Bundesliga clash at the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei on Wednesday.
Denmark forward Ingvartsen equalised after Bote Baku had scored the opener for the visitors, who were thumped 5-0 by RB Leipzig at the weekend, but looked the most likely to take all three points against a Union side who halted a run of four straight defeats.
Mainz are now a point above the relegation playoff place with 28 from as many games, while Union are three points above them in 13th.
The home side had midfielder Robert Andrich sent off for a second bookable offence before half-time, just after they had equalised and appeared to have the momentum, but were left to hold on in the second period as Mainz pushed for the winner.
Baku opened the scoring on 13 minutes when Leandro Barreiro's cross from the left side of the box was missed by everybody and fell to the winger, who steered the ball low into the far corner of the net.
It was Baku's maiden Bundesliga goal of the season and his first since May 2018.
Union struggled to create chances in front of goal from open play, but when they were awarded a free kick 25 yards out, Ingvartsen wrong-footed goalkeeper Florian Muller as he rifled the ball through a brittle wall.
That appeared to signal a shift in momentum as Union started to create more opportunities, but they were reduced to 10 men when Andrich received a deserved second yellow card four minutes before half-time for a clumsy challenge.
French forward Jean-Philippe Mateta had the first chance of the second period for the visitors, using his pace and power to get goal-side of the defence, but his chip over exposed Union goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz also sailed over the crossbar.
Mateta was denied from close range and then tried an audacious back-heel shot that was easy for the keeper as the visitors continued to look the most likely to score, but were frustrated in their search for a winner in a match that petered out.