A late Bordeaux equaliser denied Sochaux the chance to move out of the relegation zone but was surely not enough to revive their hopes of qualifying for Europe via the league.
Les Girondins moved into the semi-finals of the Coupe de France in midweek, but Marius Tresor - a member of Francis Gillot's coaching staff - was still adamant they could get back into the battle at the business end of Ligue 1 despite a poor run of form.
However, they could not back up that talk on the pitch as they twice trailed struggling Sochaux before Cheick Diabate's 78th-minute goal earned a point.
Sochaux even struck a post as time ran down, but a potentially crucial victory eluded them.
That was hard on Sochaux, who took a second lead of the afternoon through Cedric Bakambu in the 65th minute after Mariano earlier cancelled out Ryad Boudebouz's penalty.
Sochaux, their predicament clear, started strongly and Boudebouz forced a fine early save from Cedric Carrasso with a curling free-kick in the sixth minute.
Boudebouz then teed up Giovanni Sio whose attempted lob dropped just over the crossbar.
Bordeaux were struggling to create a threat, coming no closer in the first half than a 21st-minute Ludovic Obraniak shot that was repelled by the defenders in a crowded penalty area.
Instead, Carrasso was being kept busy at the other end, making a fine block to keep out Cedric Bakambu's left-footed effort in the corner of the goal.
Moments later, there was nothing he could do as Boudebouz sent him the wrong way from the penalty spot after Maxime Poundje's handball.
Bordeaux responded after the break and began to create a more serious threat.
Cedric Kante deflected Mariano's 20-yard effort away from goal in the 50th minute but the Brazilian had Bordeaux level seconds later, smashing home a volley from Poundje's cross.
Simon Pouplin then denied Diabate as they threatened to turn it around completely, but instead it was Sochaux who reclaimed the lead.
Theirry Doubai released Bakambu on the right-side of the area and he fired the ball in with an early shot that wrong-footed the goalkeeper.
However, with 12 minutes left, Diabate broke Sochaux hearts as he headed home from Lamine Sane's cross.
Sochaux almost claimed a dramatic winner in the 89th minute but Sebastien Corchia's shot came back off the upright.