Maiden Serie A goals from Egidio Arevalo Rios and Marco Sau saw Palermo and Cagliari share a point at the Stadio Renzo Barbera tonight.
The Uruguayan scored five minutes before half time to give Palermo the lead, but Sau's reply two minutes from the end meant both sides failed to get the win they were looking for.
The 1-1 draw leaves both island clubs still searching for their first wins of the season after three matches.
Thiago Ribeiro had the first shot on goal in the 17th minute, but Samir Ujkani was equal to the threat.
Michael Agazzi had to make a better save at the other end 10 minutes later when Fabio Miccoli's free-kick curled one way and then the other with the Cagliari custodian keeping the ball out with his trailing foot.
There were not many openings in a tight game, but Palermo crucially found one five minute before half time to take the lead.
A sweeping cross from the left was kept in play by Miccoli, who pulled the ball back to Arevalo Rios, who shot into the far corner from just inside the penalty area to open his account in Serie A.
Cagliari's response came from substitute Victor Ibarbo, whose low cross did not find any takers as it flashed across the goal.
It was a similarly tight affair in te second half with Palermo again posing the greatest threat from a set-piece with another Miccoli free-kick changing trajectory in the air and needing a good save from Agazzi to keep out in the 77th minute.
Five minutes later, Massimo Donati had a goal disallowed for offside when it seemed like it was actually a team mate who had jumped the gun to reach Miccoli's free-kick.
Cagliari launched a final assault on the Palermo goal and Sau, making his Serie A debut after netting 41 goals in the lower leagues in the past two seasons, pulled Cagliari level.
Daniele Conti's free-kick was met by emergency attacker Francesco Pisano, whose shot was only parried by Ujkani and Sau was on hand to nod in his first ever Serie A goal and earn Sardinia a point in the 88th minute.