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Schalke held 0-0 at home by Mainz in Bundesliga, misses chance to go provisionally 3rd

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BERLIN - Schalke missed the chance to go provisionally third in the Bundesliga on Friday after being held to a 0-0 draw by visiting Mainz.

Schalke, which hosts Real Madrid for the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie Wednesday, dropped its first points of 2014 as its four-game winning run following the winter break ended.

"I think we can live with the point today. Mainz did very well, they were very well organized and they made it very difficult for us," Schalke coach Jens Keller said.

Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann produced a fine reflex save to deny Shinji Okazaki's volley in the 29th minute, in a first half of few real chances.

Jefferson Farfan came closest at the other end before the break, when the Peruvian combined well with Max Meyer before his shot was deflected just wide of the far post.

Meyer should have scored in the 52nd, when Mainz goalkeeper Loris Karius gifted him the ball from a kick out, but the 18-year-old shot straight back at the 'keeper instead of passing to the better positioned Klaas Jan Huntelaar.

"It was my mistake. I don't really know what happened. It shouldn't become a regular thing," Karius said.

Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler came on with 25 minutes remaining to make his comeback from an ankle injury sustained on Dec. 11.

The home side could have overtaken bitter rival Borussia Dortmund but remains fourth, while Mainz remains provisionally seventh before the rest of the 22nd round of games.

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