Juan Carlos Toja netted an 87th-minute equaliser for Steaua Bucharest to deal FC Sheriff's hopes of progressing from Europa League Group H a hammer blow after a 1-1 draw.
A turgid match sprung into life at the death as Amath Diedhiou put the home side ahead with only seven minutes remaining before Toja levelled four minutes later.
Victory would have put Sheriff equal on points with second-placed FC Twente after the Dutch side's defeat by Fenerbahce but instead they will carry a two-point deficit into the final round of matches on December 17.
The match started in uninspiring fashion, with both sides failing to take the early initiative as a series of messy tackles punctuated the opening period.
Indeed, it took more than 15 minutes for the first shot on goal, Sheriff's Luis Antonio Rodriguez and Dorian Arbanas taking it in turns to try their luck, unsuccessfully, from range.
Rodriquez also shot at goal with a 20th-minute free-kick, while the lively Ionut Rada returned fire with a wayward long-range strike of his own.
Steaua goalkeeper Robinson Zapata was finally called into action when Vladimir Volkov took aim from 12 yards but the Colombian was equal to it.
The second period started in much the same fashion, neither side creating anything clear cut in the final third.
Stanislav Namasco had enjoyed the quietest of outings until he was beaten by a 55th-minute shot from Pantelis Kapetanos, who was unlucky to see his effort canon off the crossbar.
Zapata made an important diving save from Rodriguez soon after, before diverting Diedhiou's goalbound effort with his feet 13 minutes from time.
At the other end, Rada will be disappointed to have missed the target with a header after 74 minutes.
Eric Bicfalvi nodded wide from an even better position with eight minutes left and moments later saw Diedhiou break the deadlock by sweeping home Florent Rouamba's cross.
Victory was only three minutes away when good work from Petre Marin found the alert Toja 18 yards out and he rammed home a powerful finish.
Marin was red-carded in stoppage-time for a professional foul.