Artur Sobiech rescued a point for Hannover from their trip to Mainz on Saturday as he struck late on to cancel out Mohamed Zidan’s opener in a 1-1 draw.
Zidan scored for the second game running following his return to Mainz, but it was not enough to earn all three points for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Sobiech’s 89th-minute equaliser maintains Hannover’s unbeaten start to 2012 and takes them level on points with sixth-placed Bayer Leverkusen in the hunt for a place in the Europa League next season.
They are in Europa League action on Thursday too at home to Club Brugge in the last 32 of this season’s competition.
That game may have been on their minds early on as they appeared distracted as Zidan opened the scoring in the seventh minute.
Zidan, who recently returned to the club from Borussia Dortmund, found the back of the net with an accurate strike from just outside the penalty area into the bottom corner of Ron Robert Zieler’s goal.
Hannover found their focus soon afterwards and laid siege to the Mainz goal with Mame Diouf the first to test Christian Wetklo, followed by strikes from Mohammed Abdellaoue.
Wetklo’s best save was reserved for a Jan Schlaudraff shot, which he pushed behind for a corner in the 36th minute.
Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting’s goal was correctly ruled out for offside in the 42nd minute before Steven Cherundolo made a goalline clearance to prevent Niko Bungert from doubling the home side’s lead early in the second half.
Hannover continued to attack with Mainz posing a threat on the counter attack.
Zidan was denied by Zieler in the 75th minute and Choupo-Moting tried to be too fancy as he backheeled the ball into Zieler’s arms nine minutes later.
Hannover’s persistence was rewarded in the 89th minute when Karim Haggui’s mis-hit shot turned into a perfect assist for Sobiech, who brought the Reds level.