Neither Arminia Bielefeld or Heidenheim could find the crucial goal on Saturday afternoon to break the deadlock, but it was a thoroughly exciting game nevertheless.
Bielefeld, fresh from their first win of the new season, would have hoped that the international break had come a few weeks later to try and sustain their up-turn in form. However, after the rest, Norbert Meier's team selection raised a few eyebrows. Fabian Klos, the man who fired them to 3. Liga glory last term, was benched and David Ulm took his place. Michael Görlitz was rewarded for his fine strike in the last game, and replaced Stephan Salger.
Heidenheim are another team who would have been happy to play through the break, with Frank Schmidt's side occupying the lofty heights of third place before the weekend began. They dispatched 1. FC Kaiserslautern last time out, and Schmidt was more than happy to name the exact same eleven which won 3-1.
Heidenheim on top
The visitors started much better and were dominant in the opening quarter-hour. Norman Theuerkauf and Andreas Voglsammer both had chances from outside the area but they blasted well over Wolfgang Hesl's bar. The best opportunity fell to captain Marc Schnatterer, who had managed to find an absurd amount of space in the box. He connected well with Robert Leipertz's cross, only to rifle it inches past the post.
Bielefeld's defence was all over the place and it seemed like Salger's absence was really affecting their co-ordination. Voglsammer was played through by a tackle won outside the box, such was the height of the defensive line the hosts were playing, but rattled the bar from 18 yards - another let off for Meier and his men.
Bielefeld issue a response
Heidenheim, on the other hand, were rarely troubled in defence. Ulm had a half chance but it was quickly snuffed out by Kevin Kraus. Christopher Nöthe then leapt highest to meet a pin-point cross from Christoph Hemlein, which looped just over the bar. It may not have been a spectacular response but the home fans now had slightly more hope when going forward.
Both sides pushed on in search of an opening goal during the final few minutes but couldn't find one. Schnatterer went close once again but failed to hit the target, the story of Heidenheim's half. Bielefeld would have been extremely happy to have got to the break without being a goal down.
Second half starts brightly
The second half began as much more of a contest with both teams creating early chances. Nöthe's header flashed past the post before Smail Morabit's trickery bought him enough time to shoot at goal, with his effort slipping jus wide. Jan Zimmermann then had to be at his best to prevent Ulm's cross from looping in, almost catching the 'keeper off guard.
Bielefeld, a bit like their last game in Paderborn, were getting better as the game went on. Ulm was a constant threat but his shots couldn't trouble Zimmermann, whose positioning was almost immaculate throughout the game. That didn't mean Heidenheim were out of things, however, and Schnatterer once again went close to opening the scoring.
Game ends goalless
The best opportunity of the match fell to Amin Affane with 20 minutes left, but he wasted the glorious chance. After getting past Arne Feick he drove into the box but with team-mates in better positions, the midfielder struck his effort well-over the bar; much to the dismay of his team-mates.
That was to be the final major chance of the game, as both sides came away with a share of the spoils. However, Heidenheim would have been disappointed not to have taken all three points after an extremely dominant first-half display.