LENS, March 5 (Ligue 1) - Metz moved out of the relegation zone with a last-gasp equaliser to frustrate fellow strugglers Lens.
Les Sang et Or had looked like hauling themselves further out of danger as they led for almost an hour through Olivier Monterrubio's penalty.
But Jean-Pierre Papin's side gave away a needless free-kick just outside the area and Miralem Pjanic fired home Cedric Barbosa's corner to earn Metz a point.
Metz remain 17 points adrift of safety with relegation a certainty, but four clubs, including Lens, are all biting their nails on 35 points.
Lens almost took a fourth-minute lead when Toifilou Maoulida surged into the penalty area, but Christophe Marichez blocked his shot.
Maoulida again found space in the Metz box 13 minutes later when put through by Monterrubio, but he was again denied by goalkeeper Marichez.
But Marichez turned villain for Les Grenats after 33 minutes, when he brought down Aruna Dindane in his area.
Monterrubio stepped up and beat Marichez from the spot, although the keeper guessed the right way to dive.
Metz offered little for much of the second half but Cedric Barbosa's free-kick did cause problems for Lens goalkeeper Vedran Runje after 71 minutes.
Runje did well to beat away Pjanic's fierce strike nine minutes later.
But the Bosnian striker was not to be denied for a second time. With just one minute left, Barbosa delivered a corner, and Pjanic's deflected shot flew past a distraught Runje.