Match ends, Portsmouth 2, Plymouth Argyle 2.
Portsmouth and Plymouth could not be separated after sharing four goals in an eventful first leg of their League Two play-off semi-final.
Marc McNulty gave Portsmouth an early lead when he found space on the edge of the box to fire past Luke McCormick.
Argyle soon levelled as Jamille Matt headed in and then spectacularly put his side ahead with an overhead kick.
Gary Roberts' second-half penalty brought Pompey level after Peter Hartley tripped McNulty in the area.
The two sides will meet again in the second leg at Home Park on Sunday for a place in the Wembley play-off final on 30 May.
Fleetwood loanee striker Matt looked to have grabbed the headlines in stunning fashion with his two early goals for the visitors.
He had happy memories of Fratton Park even before kick-off having headed the first goal when Derek Adams' men beat Pompey 2-1 last month.
But the 26-year-old was arguably fortunate to still be on the field when he netted his acrobatic second goal from a Kelvin Mellor long throw.
An off-the-ball incident involving him and Portsmouth captain Michael Doyle did not result in any punishment being dished out by referee Oliver Langford, but did lead to dismissals on the touchline.
Following consultation with fourth official Gavin Ward, Portsmouth manager Paul Cook and Plymouth assistant Paul Wotton were sent to the stands after a heated exchange.
An explosive opening was perhaps to be expected between two sides who were only separated by three points and one place in the regular season.
Portsmouth deservedly levelled six minutes after the restart as Roberts placed his penalty beautifully into the top corner.
But a questionable decision from referee Langford saw Plymouth centre-back Hartley only receive a yellow card when he appeared to be the last man when stopping McNulty's run into the visitors' box.
Portsmouth manager Paul Cook told BBC Radio Solent:
"Great game, fantastic game of football. Two very committed sides and some fantastic stuff.
"A great advertisement for League Two football and it's all to play for going into Sunday's decider. The lads have shown great character to get back into it. We'll feel aggrieved over decisions and I'm sure Plymouth will.
"But, let's talk about the football and not the referee."
Plymouth manager Derek Adams told BBC Sport:
"It was an excellent game and we thoroughly deserved to go 2-1 ahead.
"We probably should've won the game on the night. We've had good opportunities and it was a very good performance from us.
"We passed the ball well and we had to deal with a fair amount of Portsmouth pressure.
"But, we dealt with the atmosphere exceptionally well. When you go to the home leg, you've got your own fans behind you. I think tonight's shown what the home fans can do for you."
- 15BartonBooked at 45mins
- 29HollandsBooked at 40mins
- 23BennettSubstituted forNaismithat 62'minutes
- 10McNultySubstituted forMcGurkat 81'minutes
- 6HartleyBooked at 50mins
- 3SawyerBooked at 60mins
- 20BoatengSubstituted forPurringtonat 80'minutesBooked at 85mins
- 10CareyBooked at 14mins
- 19MattSubstituted forTannerat 90+1'minutes
- Oliver Langford
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Portsmouth 2, Plymouth Argyle 2.
Attempt missed. Gary Roberts (Portsmouth) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Danny Hollands.
Substitution, Plymouth Argyle. Craig Tanner replaces Jamille Matt.
Offside, Portsmouth. Danny Hollands tries a through ball, but Gary Roberts is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Gareth Evans (Portsmouth) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Enda Stevens with a cross.
Attempt saved. Ben Davies (Portsmouth) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Adam McGurk.
Offside, Portsmouth. Adam Barton tries a through ball, but Enda Stevens is caught offside.
Ben Purrington (Plymouth Argyle) is shown the yellow card.
Danny Hollands (Portsmouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ben Purrington (Plymouth Argyle).
Attempt missed. Adam McGurk (Portsmouth) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Ben Davies with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Portsmouth. Conceded by Gregg Wylde.
Gary Roberts (Portsmouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Carl McHugh (Plymouth Argyle).
Substitution, Portsmouth. Adam McGurk replaces Marc McNulty.
Substitution, Plymouth Argyle. Ben Purrington replaces Hiram Boateng.
Michael Doyle (Portsmouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Hiram Boateng (Plymouth Argyle).
Attempt missed. Gareth Evans (Portsmouth) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.