FA Cup quarter-finalists Reading were unable push away from the relegation zone as Championship rivals Cardiff claimed a draw, which did little to help their own efforts to reach the play-offs.
Sub Garath McCleary handed the Royals the lead before half time, when he chested the ball down and fired through a crowd.
But they allowed Cardiff to snatch a point when Lex Immers headed home after good work by Sammy Ameobi.
Eighth-bottom Reading are eight points clear of the bottom three with nine games left, including a game in hand away to Middlesbrough.
Keep an eye out for our full report and player ratings from our match reporter.