Promoted Eintracht Braunschweig earned a 0-0 draw at bitter rival Hannover in the Bundesliga 's first Lower Saxony derby for 37 years on Friday.
The anticipation was high of a game which was last played in 1976, but in spite of Hannover's attacking efforts, Braunschweig managed to get away with precisely what they had come for - a point.
Mame Diouf spurned the best chances on a night when the headlines will be taken for what happened outside the stadium. The anticipated crowd disturbances were kept away from the arena with the police having to use water cannons to keep the rival fans apart, with only a few fireworks and flares spoiling the atmosphere inside the Niedersachsenstadion.
One of those fireworks was thrown onto the field early on, and it provided arguably the only really bright moment on the pitch. Hannover spent most of the game on the attack, and had most of the possession, but Braunschweig had come with the clear intention of spoiling their night by frustrating them.
Rarely did Torsten Lieberknecht's men venture forward in search of a goal themselves with Mirko Boland's 25th-minute effort practically the only shot on Ron-Robert Zierler's goal. Daniel Davari was kept much busier at the other end, although most of Hannover's shots did not even find the target, Diouf the biggest culprit.
Within the first half an hour, the Senegalese forward had missed three chances, the biggest of which in the 26th minute really should have given the Reds the lead. From seven yards out, and unmarked, he headed wide of goal and then minutes later he shot over with only Davari to beat.
Leonardo Bittencourt shot straight at Davari just before the break and then Edgar Prib stole the Braunschweig goalkeeper of possession on the stroke of half-time, although he was unable to keep the ball in play and direct it towards the open goal. Sebastien Pocognoli shot wide early in the second half before Diouf finally hit the target, but he found Davari as Braunschweig proved impenetrable.
'We're incredibly disappointed,'' Hannover general manager Dirk Dufner said. ''We expected a lot more. Our fans were looking forward to this game so much we wanted to reward them. Unfortunately we couldn't manage it.''
''I'm not fully satisfied because we didn't play our best football,'' said Braunschweig coach Torsten Lieberknecht, whose side was in the third-division four seasons ago. ''But for my young players the whole build-up was a completely new dimension. I'm happy the game is over.''
Hannover had asked for the match to be moved forward from Sunday, the fourth anniversary of Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke's suicide.
American defender Steve Cherundolo dressed for the first time this season but did not enter the match. The 34-year-old right back, a member of the last three U.S. World Cup teams, had left knee surgery in February and returned for five games in April and May. Cherundolo, Hannover's captain, had another knee operation in August.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to the report.