Michail Antonio's late winner helped Sheffield Wednesday close in on the League One automatic promotion places at the expense of Carlisle.
Chris Lines poked home the opener after Jermaine Johnson's shot was palmed away by Cumbrians keeper Adam Collin.
James Berrett hit a well-struck equaliser after the hosts missed a number of chances to extend their lead.
Antonio fired in a superb winner deep into injury time to leave the Owls a point behind Sheffield United.
With the score at 1-0, the hosts had plenty of chances to put the game beyond Carlisle, but Gary Madine and Nile Ranger both missed opportunities.
The Owls were warned when Francois Zoko shot over the crossbar when unmarked in the box for the Cumbrians, and when Berrett equalised it looked as though it was not to be Wednesday's day.
But Antonio's late strike meant Carlisle, who would have gone into the play-off places with victory after Notts County lost to Bury earlier on Saturday, went home empty handed.
Wednesday's win meant they closed the gap on city rivals United to one point after they lost at MK Dons.
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Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones told BBC Radio Sheffield:
"I think it would have been a travesty if we have come away with just a point, because of the amount of chances.
"Their keeper has had a really good day today, we just didn't think it was going to go in.
"You were just thinking is it going to be their day.
"But our response was superb after that."
Carlisle United manager Greg Abbott told BBC Radio Cumbria:
"Someone said you don't get anything out of that game, well you do. You get a lot of optimism going forward.
"There's a big difference, there's a big gulf in resources and we're not going to go down that road of harping on about it too much. They're a powerful club and they've got a very powerful team and everything we knew, every nous we had of knowledge we used today to make sure we were always in the game.
"I think Sheffield Wednesday were the better side, but in terms of who had unbelievably big hearts and deserved something out of the game, because of that - it was Carlisle United."