However, Excelsior took the lead just after the quarter-hour mark when Maikel Kieftenbeld bundled the ball into his own net.
Groningen set about trying to find the equaliser, with Tjaronn Chery coming close twice in a period of a few minutes midway through the first half.
In the second half, Hans Hateboer nearly put the hosts in the lead just three minutes after the restart, but his shot was unsuccessful.
The visitors then had a good effort of their own when Jordan Botaka fired wide just after the hour.
Groningen were arguably the better side throughout the game, with Dino Islamovic coming close towards the end of the match, but ultimately both teams ended up sharing the spoils.