Robert Snodgrass' second goal of the season broke Cardiff's six-game winning run against Leeds but it was not enough as his side were held to an entertaining 1-1 draw in the npower Championship at Elland Road.
The Scotland winger touched in from close range with 18 minutes left to finally beat compatriot David Marshall, who had produced a string of excellent saves to preserve a lead given to his side by Joe Mason.
The striker capitalised on a Darren O'Dea error to score his third goal in as many games with 17 minutes gone, and Marshall then took over as Cardiff looked set to continue a hoodoo they have held over Leeds since 2005.
But, despite keeping out Snodgrass, Ross McCormack, Adam Clayton and Jonny Howson with some memorable stops, Marshall could do nothing when Snodgrass got free in the box to win his side a point that could have been more on another day.
Much has been made of the high-profile errors made by Paul Rachubka since he replaced the injured Andy Lonergan in the Leeds goal a fortnight ago, but he proved his worth early on, getting down low to turn a goal-bound strike from Aron Gunnarsson around the post.
Leeds then clicked into gear and Tom Lees had a header blocked in a busy box, before Andy Keogh - a former Cardiff loanee - worked Marshall with a header. But while both sides know their way to goal, they had also conceded a combined tally of 39 going into the game and that became 40 when Cardiff took the lead after a mistake from O'Dea.
Although heading towards his own goal, the Republic of Ireland defender was winning a foot race with Mason all the way but hesitated over clearing the ball and, despite a suggestion he was given the slightest of shoves, he was promptly pick-pocketed by the lively 20-year-old who duly rounded Rachubka and slotted in.
Snodgrass forced Marshall to turn his header around the post as he followed up a Keogh flick, before Danny Pugh's volley was blocked behind. Then Snodgrass looked to spark his side after the interval with a venomous 25-yarder that Marshall beat away, with the impressive keeper then going full stretch to keep out McCormack.
The heroics continued to come from Marshall, with Clayton's 25-yard piledriver destined for the back of the net until he somehow got a touch to it, before, after another Clayton strike was blocked behind, he produced a stunning one-handed stop to keep out a Howson header.
Eventually, though, Leeds found a way past him when Snodgrass levelled in the 72nd minute. Patrick Kisnorbo sent a free-kick into the box, Lees flicked it on and Snodgrass got a run on his marker to beat Marshall from two yards. Cardiff created the final chance of the game, with Aidy White clearing from under his own bar as Gunnarsson looked to pounce.