AUXERRE, April 19 (Ligue 1) - Auxerre edged closer to Ligue 1 safety after taking a valuable point against already-relegated Metz.
Both sides will be wondering how they only managed a point apiece in this game after missing glorious opportunities to take all three.
The home side had the better of the chances in the opening exchanges and Thomas Kahlenberg should have put them ahead after 15 minutes but he lost his composure in front of goal and shot weakly at Metz goalkeeper Christophe Marichez.
Daniel Niculae then struck the crossbar for Auxerre. After winning a tussle with defender Eric Cubiler, he smashed the ball past Marichez and against the top of the woodwork.
Metz begun to get into the game during the second half and their first clear opportunity fell to Rudy Gestede, whose superb shot from outside the box was tipped onto the post by home keeper Remy Riou.
Auxerre defender Jean-Pascal Mignot then came close with a fierce header which missed the top corner by inches after meeting a Kahlenberg free-kick.
Gestede struck the frame of the goal again when his delightful looping header brushed the outside of the post after an excellent delivery from Daniel Gygax.
In the final minutes it was Auxerre who came closest to taking the spoils when Niculae again threatened.
This time his header from the edge of the area looked destined for the top corner but was plucked out of the air by Marichez.