Werder Bremen have played to a fourth 1-1 Bundesliga draw in a row against visiting Cologne, who are now winless in 17 league matches.
Bremen's Niklas Moisander deflected a free-kick from Marius Wolf into his own net in the 67th minute of a mainly dull affair played behind closed doors on Friday evening.
Leonardo Bittencourt denied Cologne a first season win when he levelled for the hosts with an 81st-minute penalty after Sebastiaan Bornauw handled the ball in the area.
"It was difficult. Cologne sat very deep and we hardly created chances," Bittencourt told streaming portal DAZN.
"We are not used to playing against such teams.
"We were a little lucky with the penalty and have to be satisfied with the point."
Bremen are unbeaten in six games in a better start than expected and rose to a temporary seventh place.
Last season they avoided relegation in a playoff into which they escaped with a last matchday 6-1 demolition of Cologne.
Cologne remain third-last with three points and their winless run of 17 games is just one shy of a club worst run of 18 games without victory.
"It may have not looked nice but we didn't allow them a lot. After the penalty we fought hard to get the one point," Cologne's Rafael Czichos said.
Second-last Schalke, who are one point behind Cologne, have not won in 22 league matches but will hope to end that run when they on Saturday visit bottom side Mainz who have zero points.
The day is highlighted by a table-topper between second-placed Borussia Dortmund and leaders and champions Bayern Munich.