Austria's slim hopes of making the 2010 FIFA World Cup South AfricaTM via the play-offs remain alive after they snatched a draw with Romania in their latest Group 7 qualifier.

Romania dominated possession over the 90 minutes and should have been comfortable winners, which would have kept their own dreams of reaching the world finals intact.

Gheorghe Bucur opened the scoring for the hosts after 54 minutes, but Austria fought back to snatch a point through Franz Schiemer's 82nd-minute leveller.

The result leaves Austria four points behind second-placed France with two games to play, while Romania are second-bottom of the group, two points further back.

The hosts started well and Mirel Radoi, Cristian Sapunaru and Ciprian Marica all had headed efforts on goal inside the first 15 minutes. Marica also spurned a glorious chance after 19 minutes when one-on-one with Helge Payer, but the Romanian could not find a way past the Austria goalkeeper.

The Austrians had their first real opportunity on 52 minutes, when Stefan Maierhofer was left alone in front of goal but Romania goalkeeper Danut Coman made the block. Two minutes later, the hosts opened the scoring when a free-kick from the right wing by Mihai Roman was met with a well-placed header by Bucur.

The hosts could not hold on to their lead, however, and eight minutes from time Schiemer levelled from just outside the six-yard box.