Blues will be in the hat for tomorrow’s FA Cup with Budweiser fourth round draw, after a spirited performance at Elland Road forced a replay.
Wade Elliott’s first-half screamer suggested a replay might not be needed, but Luciano Becchio’s 60th minute equaliser means the two sides will do it all again in Birmingham.
Blues were unlucky not to leave Leeds with the win but they couldn’t quite do enough to convert the chances they created.
Roared on by a vocal travelling contingent, Blues made a positive start with three shots in the space of four minutes.
The pick of the bunch was Ravel Morrison’s effort – and if it wasn’t for an alert Jamie Ashdown, then Morrison’s stinging drive would have found the bottom corner.
Leeds sparked into life shortly afterwards, though, as Jason Pearce rose highest to head Ross McCormack’s free-kick onto the post.
And on 20 minutes the Whites went close again when David Norris surged into the box, but Colin Doyle was there to block Norris’ attempt.
The hosts’ spell of pressure fizzled out and then out of nowhere Elliott sensationally put the visitors ahead on 32 minutes.
The former Burley midfielder was invited to try his luck by a relaxed Leeds defence from 25-yards out, and the 34-year-old made them pay with a ferocious strike into the top corner.
Elliott’s opener was the last action to speak of during the first period as Neil Warnock’s men failed to respond to slipping behind.
They should have scored the other side of the break, however, as Becchio failed to bury the ball past Doyle, when one-on-one with the Irishman.
Blues almost doubled their lead a minute later, with Morrison a whisker away from directing Chris Burke’s cross into the bottom corner.
Another opportunity came Birmingham’s way – this time for Nathan Redmond – but Ashdown blocked the 18-year-old’s shot at his near post.
Unfortunately for Lee Clark’s charges, the Whites equalised on the hour mark to take the tie to a replay.
Curtis Davies couldn’t clear his lines and Norris pounced to play in Becchio, who rolled the ball underneath Doyle from close range.
To make matters worse, Will Packwood was then stretchered off with a serious looking leg injury after falling awkwardly.
Birmingham tried their utmost to kill of the tie and progress straight through to the fourth round, but a series of chances came and went.
The best opening fell Redmond’s way as his shot from the edge of the area beat Ashdown but not the post.
Buoyed by a confident display in West Yorkshire, Blues will have a second chance to see off Leeds at St. Andrew’s on Tuesday 15 January (kick-off 7.45 pm).
Leeds: Jamie Ashdown, Tom Lees, Jason Pearce (C), Alan Tate (Davide Somma 79), Adam Drury, Aidan White (El-Hadji Diouf 46), Michael Brown, David Norris, Ryan Hall (Sam Byram 46), Ross McCormack, Luciano Becchio.
Subs not used: Paddy Kenny, Lee Peltier, Luke Varney, Danny Pugh.
Goals: Becchio (60)
Blues: Colin Doyle, Will Packwood (Mitch Hancox 66), Curtis Davies, Steven Caldwell (C), Paul Robinson, Chris Burke, Callum Reilly, Morgaro Gomis, Wade Elliott, Nathan Redmond, Ravel Morrison (Reece Hales 85).
Subs not used: Jack Butland, Pablo Ibanez, Ben Gordon, Eddy Gnahore, Marcel Henry-Francis.
Goals: Elliott (32)
Referee: C. Foy
Attendance: 11, 447