St Etienne missed the chance to join Bordeaux at the top of the early Ligue 1 standings as a missed penalty proved costly in a stalemate against Rennes.
Moments after Rennes' Pedro Henrique struck a post, St Etienne looked poised to take full advantage when Mevlut Erding won a 40th minute penalty, but he saw his shot saved by Benoit Costil.
St Etienne continued to push in the second half but created only a handful of chances and Rennes held out for a point.
The match was slow to get going and 20 minutes had passed before Kevin Monnet-Paquet forced the first save from Costil, his low drive put aside for a corner after neat play from Erding.
Rennes responded well, with Sanjin Prcic firing over after snatching on a loose ball before Henrique met Ola Toivonen's cross with a shot onto the post.
Further drama was to follow when Cheikh M'Bengue was adjudged to have fouled Erding in the area.
The decision looked generous to say the least, but Erding could not accept the gift as Costil guessed right to block the penalty.
The second half began with another chance for Erding when Romain Hamouma picked him out in the area, but the crowd of Rennes defenders did not block Costil's view and he was down smartly to save.
Substitute Max-Alain Gradel added some energy to St Etienne's attacks, but Vincent Pajot deflected his 70th minute effort wide after swift counter-attack.
With time ticking down, Gradel crossed for Franck Tabanou who beat Pajot and Mexer before firing into the side-netting.