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Hamburg, Mainz draw in relegation scrap

© DPA/AFP/File | Mainz (red) and Hamburg (black), pictured in 2015, are both left on 34 points after Sunday's goalless draw, with Hamburg in the relegation play-off place due to their inferior goal difference

BERLIN (AFP) - 

Relegation-threatened Hamburg and Mainz both boosted their Bundesliga survival chances by earning a point apiece in Sunday's goalless draw.

Mainz had the best chances to take the three points in Hamburg as Spanish midfielder Jairo Samperio came off the bench and twice went close late on.

The result leaves both clubs on 34 points, with Hamburg in the relegation play-off place due to their inferior goal difference.

However the two sides moved four points clear of second-bottom Ingolstadt with just two games left to play.

Hamburg are fighting to preserve their status as the Bundesliga's only ever-present club, having flirted with relegation from Germany's top tier in recent seasons.

They remain in 16th place, which would lead to a two-legged play-off at the end of the season against the team that finishes third in the second division in order to stay in the Bundesliga.

Bottom side Darmstadt were relegated on Saturday following their 1-0 defeat at Bayern Munich with Mainz, Hamburg and Ingolstadt battling to avoid joining them in the second tier next season.

Ingolstadt are four points adrift of safety and must effectively win their final two games -- at Freiburg and home to Schalke -- while hoping Hamburg and Mainz drop points in order to stay up.

Mainz host Eintracht Frankfurt and then visit Cologne in their run-in, while Hamburg travel to Schalke before taking on Wolfsburg at home in the final round of matches.

© 2017 AFP