Steve MacLean gave Sheffield Wednesday a deserved FA Cup third-round replay as the Championship Owls frightened the life out of Premiership Manchester City and claimed a 1-1 draw.
Georgios Samaras appeared to have fired Stuart Pearce's side into the last 32 with a 78th-minute penalty at Hillsborough.
But within 80 seconds MacLean hauled Wednesday level to set up a return at Eastlands on January 17.
It was rich reward for Wednesday against a full-strength City team as Pearce kept his word by naming his strongest line-up.
Wednesday, pushing for a play-off place, had the better of tie as they played an accomplished passing game under manager Brian Laws, a former Nottingham Forest team-mate of Pearce.
Their industry could not be faulted throughout the 90 minutes, in particular the opening 45 as City failed to muster a single effort to test on-loan Owls goalkeeper Mark Crossley.
They did have the ball in the back of the net in the 19th minute but, just as Samaras fired home, referee Graham Poll blew for a foul on Crossley.
That came in the middle of a busy spell for Poll as he had seconds earlier cautioned Deon Burton for a tackle on Hatem Trabelsi.
The most controversial moment, however, arrived shortly before the midway point of the opening half as Micah Richards and former City midfielder Glenn Whelan clashed.
Whelan, who made just one appearance for City before joining the Owls two-and-a-half-years ago, appeared to stiff-arm Richards in the midriff.
The response of the 18-year-old, playing on the right of a three-man midfield, was to throw Whelan to the ground.
Whelan jumped to his feet and made a hasty retreat, escaping the threat of a yellow card as Poll chose only to book Richards with the Wednesday fans clamouring for a red. It was an incident where both could have been booked or sent off, yet Poll failed to spot the initial infringement.
Either side of that it was Wednesday who enjoyed the chances, none more so than in the 11th minute when a counter-attack led to Whelan finding Chris Brunt on the overlap.
With only Nicky Weaver to beat and after teeing up his shot, Brunt produced an horrendous mis-kick, with the ball bobbling over the byline.
Deon Burton, Tommy Spurr and Kenny Lunt all tried their luck from outside the area but with Weaver only forced into one save, from the latter's 25-yard effort.
If Weaver and Crossley had failed to be truly tested in the first half, they were both thrust into the spotlight at the start of a fast and furious second half.
Just 80 seconds after the restart Weaver, who grew up a Wednesday fan and last season spent three months on loan with the Owls, was forced to tip over the bar a woeful attempted sliced clearance from Sylvain Distin.
From the resulting Brunt corner, captain Lee Bullen powered a header goalwards which Samaras cleared off the line.
The Wednesday players appealed to assistant Andrew Butler that the ball had crossed, but his flag remained at his side.
Within a minute City broke to good effect, despite the fact Darius Vassell was clearly offside when he received a long ball out of defence. Again the flag stayed down, this time from Gary Brittain, allowing Vassell to race through on goal.
The City striker curled in a shot angled towards the bottom left-hand corner, only for Crossley to produce a superb fingertip save.
With Wednesday pressing for the winner, Burton fired into the side-netting and Whelan shot narrowly over the angle of bar and post, before Crossley made a point-blank block at the feet of Vassell.
Crossley again proved inspirational in the 72nd minute as he was smartly down on a rasping Samaras strike before Brunt was inches over with a searing 20-yard drive.
Then the game exploded with two goals in 80 seconds, with firstly Samaras firing home from the spot after Coughlan had brought down Richards in the area.
But Wednesday responded superbly, with MacLean scoring his seventh goal of the season off the inside of the post.
It should have been four in his last four games minutes later as he then sliced an easier chance wide from 12 yards which would have given Wednesday a dramatic victory.
Sheffield Wednesday manager Brian Laws has warned close friend Stuart Pearce
there will be 'no easy ride' for Manchester City in the FA Cup third-round
The Owls deserved their return to Eastlands on January 17 after holding their
Barclays Premiership opponents to a 1-1 draw at Hillsborough.
City looked on course for the last 32 when striker Georgios Samaras scored a
78th minute penalty after Kenny Lunt had brought down Micah Richards.
But within 80 seconds Laws' Coca-Coal Championship side were level when Steve
MacLean beat goalkeeper Nicky Weaver with a low curling shot from 18 yards.
Laws feels his side will again be able to more than hold their own in 10 days'
time as he said: 'We showed fantastic character to bounce back.
'The incident which led to their penalty we have no complaints over. The ref
(Graham Poll) made the right decision.
'But the manner in which we hit back was impressive, and we showed there is
no great divide between the two teams.
'I believe we were the better side on the day, but at least we have another
bite of the cherry and we are in the hat for the draw for the next round.
'We will go there with confidence because we've a good away record, we are
playing well, so it will be no easy ride for Manchester City.'
Wednesday certainly had the better of the game over the 90 minutes, with Laws
adding: 'It would have been a travesty if we had not got the equaliser.
'We had our chances before that, but as with any football team you have to
'But even after going a goal down nobody dropped their heads and they kept
Laws believes his side has set standards as a once great club strive for a
return to the Premiership.
'It gives us a taste of what it is all about,' added Laws.
'We have to aim to get back to the Premiership. It will come, we will get
there, but it will take hard work, patience and belief - the players have all
Laws and Pearce both believe Poll made the correct decision in awarding only a
yellow card to Richards for a first-half incident involving former City
midfielder Glenn Whelan.
The duo were involved in a tussle in which it appeared Whelan stiff-armed
Richards before he was thrown to the ground in response.
Laws said: 'We had a similar incident at Stoke when one of our players went
chest-to-chest with one of theirs. I spoke to the referee after the game and he
confirmed what we were thinking at the time.
'If a player pushes or shoves another in the chest, now it is deemed only a
yellow card and not red.
'Anything above the chest will be a red card unless it is violent, so the
referee today obviously thought it wasn't violent and therefore only worthy of a
Pearce reflected: 'The incident happened right in front of me. The kid
(Whelan) pulled Richards back an Micah pushed him.
'A yellow card was a fair conclusion. The ref dealt with it well and the
players got on with it.'
Unlike Laws, his former team-mate during their days at Nottingham Forest,
Pearce felt his side were worthy of the replay.
'I think a draw was a fair result on the balance of play,' remarked Pearce.
'Once we got our noses in front it would have been nice to have held on, but
a little lapse of concentration cost us.
'Give Sheffield Wednesday credit because I thought they played extremely
well, and in the end either team could have won it.'