Gjergj Muzaka struck three minutes from time to secure Albania an unlikely draw in Romania.
In their opening Euro 2012 Group D qualifier, Romania laboured for 80 minutes as they tried to force an opening goal against their lowly opponents.
Depleted by the absence of key men Christian Chivu and Adrian Mutu, it took substitute Bogdan Stancu's goal 10 minutes from time to edge them in front after a lacklustre attacking performance.
However, as the home fans celebrated, Muzaka popped up with a shock equaliser in the 87th minute to send the tiny band of travelling support into delirium.
Striker Ciprian Marica had a shot off target in the first minute for Romania and 11 minutes later Arian Beqaj had to be alert to save Romania skipper Mirel Radoi's effort.
Gabriel Torje fired one wide for the home team before Beqaj was again called into action to save from Ciprian Deac after 24 minutes.
As the half drew to a close, Ervin Skela tried his luck unsuccessfully for Albania and the break came with the score still level.
Razvan Cocis saw a shot bravely blocked by the Albanian backline and Gabriel Muresan, on as a substitute, also saw an effort deflected away to safety.
Razvan Rat tried his luck as Romania grew increasingly desperate but in the 80th minute the deadlock was finally broken. Stancu, on for Daniel Niculae, was in the right place at the right time to cap a decent team move with the opening goal.
If anything, Romania looked likely to score a second as they kept the ball but with some attacking intent. They were stunned, however, when Muzaka was on hand to capitalise on some shoddy defending and get his side back level.
Another replacement, Hamdi Salihi, could even have won it for Albania but Bogdan Lobont made the save to at least earn his disappointing side a draw.