TARRAGONA, April 1 (Primera Liga) - Recreativo Huelva missed a golden opportunity to boost their challenge for a European place as they were held to a draw by 10-man Gimnastic Tarragona.
Florent Sinama Pongolle gave the visitors the lead after 12 minutes, but Javier Portillo levelled things up for the hosts four minutes later.
And, despite Alejandro Campano seeing red for the bottom-of-the-table side four minutes before the break, Recreativo could not find a winner.
The game opened at a lively pace and Nastic immediately caused problems for their high-flying visitors.
Portillo struck left-footed from the edge of the box, forcing Recre goalkeeper Javier Lopez Vallejo to parry.
At the other end, Juanma Gomez fired wide from 20 yards.
Recreativo took the lead after shortly after when Sinama Pongolle, put through by Ikechukwu Uche's header, delicately lobbed the ball over Albano Bizzarri's head and into the empty net.
The lead was shortlived, however, as Javier Portillo drilled a left-footed free-kick past Lopez Vallejo just minutes after the opening strike from the former Liverpool striker.
With parity restored, the pace slowed somewhat and chances were at a premium, with only Campano's free-kick for Nastic forcing a save out of Lopez Vallejo.
After 41 minutes, the hosts found themselves down to 10 men as Campano's professional foul on Uche earned him a straight red card.
Recre attempted to take advantage after the break but Sinama Pongolle was wasteful, firing wide from 12 yards.
Lopez Vallejo was again involved as he held Ruben Castro Martin's 20-yard effort.
The visitors were having trouble finding the target, with both Aitor Tornavaca's header and Uche's shot sailing wide of goal, before at the other end Sebastien Chabaud again made Lopez Vallejo work with a shot from 20 yards.
Recreativo continued to create chances but simply could not hit the target as both Rafael Barber and Uche fired wide from outside the box.
Deep into stoppage time, Sinama Pongolle came close to snatching all three points with the visitors' first shot on target of the half for the men from Huelva.
Uche's corner reached the former Liverpool man on the edge of the box and his shot was arrowing towards goal, but Albano Bizzarri proved equal to the task and held on.
It was another impressive point for Nastic, who have now lost just one of their last five games.
It was enough to bring then level on points with 19th-placed Real Sociedad, but they have a lot of work to do to escape the drop.
Recre drop to eighth place after Racing Santander's astonishing 5-4 win over Athletic Bilbao, but they remain just two points off the UEFA Cup places.