Fraizer Campbell made a goalscoring return after 18 months out injured to earn Sunderland an FA Cup fourth-round replay with Middlesbrough.
After coming on at half-time, Campbell scored on the break to cancel out Barry Robson's superb first-half strike.
Sunderland's Craig Gardner saw an effort controversially ruled out for offside late in the first half.
And James McClean fired wide for the home side in injury time to ensure the sides will meet again at the Riverside.
With Nicklas Bendtner out injured, Sunderland gave a start up front to teenager Connor Wickham, only his sixth since an £8m move from Ipswich Town in the summer.
Middlesbrough also fielded a recent arrival up front with Lucas Jutkiewicz, a £1.3m transfer window buy from Coventry City, leading their line.
The visitors had already signalled their attacking intent when Scott McDonald's shot was well held by the masked Simon Mignolet in the Sunderland goal, while Sebastian Larsson headed wide at the other end.
Robson made his mark on 16 minutes, expertly volleying in after John O'Shea had failed to head away Faris Haroun's right-wing cross.
Sunderland responded well, forcing Danny Coyne into two good saves, both from winger McClean.
They also had an effort ruled out when Gardner, recalled in place of injured hamstring victim Lee Cattermole, collected Kieran Richardson's long pass before firing home.
Gardner had clearly handled the ball as it reached him, but the strike was overruled for offside against Wickham, who did not touch the shot that went in off the post.
Wickham was then withdrawn through injury at half-time and replaced by Campbell, who returned for his first start since August 2010 from a cruciate knee ligament injury.
And he required just 13 minutes to make his mark, sweeping home McClean's square pass from 16 yards after Robson had sloppily conceded possession.
Both teams continued to attack each other, Phil Bardsley almost heading into his own net moments after Campbell's goal before Coyne held David Vaughan's deflected shot at the other end.
McClean found himself in a superb position to settle the contest two minutes into stoppage time, only to slash his left-footed shot wide.
But honours ended even, meaning a replay at the Riverside to decide who will host Arsenal in round five.
Blood was spilt by players on both sides, home defender John O'Shea and visiting midfielder Rhys Williams both looking worse for wear, while Wes Brown left the field with a nasty-looking injury after landing on his shoulder.