A late goal from Jasmin Mesanovic cancelled out Ze Luis' 82nd-minute effort to secure Maribor a 1-1 draw at Spartak Moscow, leaving the Russians with it all to do in their final Champions League Group E match against Liverpool at Anfield.
Spartak had seemingly claimed a vital victory when Ze Luis found the net, but just when they looked set to leap above Sevilla for at least a couple of hours, Mesanovic tapped in from close range to leave the Spaniards and Liverpool firmly in the driving seat.
In truth, Spartak were not at the races for long periods, as a dire first half passed with few highlights – Massimo Carrera's men almost appearing completely unaware of the match's importance.
They then nearly found themselves trailing just after the break, as Marko Suler hit the post for the Slovenian champions.
The previously wasteful Ze Luis had seemingly won it for Spartak and put them right in contention for a knockout phase spot with one match left to play when he found the net eight minutes from time.
But Mesanovic was decisive at the end of a fine Maribor move in the second minute of stoppage time, leaving Spartak a point behind Sevilla and two shy of Liverpool.
Spartak looked the more purposeful early on, but they did not create their first chance until the 18th minute, as Ze Luis got in behind the Maribor defence and flashed a low ball across the danger zone that Jean-Claude Billong cleared behind.
That move failed to spark a period of dominance for the hosts, however, with their next two efforts causing Maribor goalkeeper Jasmin Handanovic few problems, as Luiz Adriano and then Ze Luis both headed well off target.
The home fans became audibly frustrated, jeering Spartak as they showed little urgency with and without the ball.
That did little to improve Spartak's performance, though they did at least create one more half-chance before the break – Mario Pasalic heading Fernando's free-kick delivery well over on the stroke of half-time.
Alarm bells began ringing for Spartak early in the second half, as Maribor substitute Dare Vrsic whipped a fine free-kick in from the left flank and Suler diverted it on to the right-hand post.
Spartak did finally craft another chance in the 63rd minute and Ze Luis went close, seeing his 20-yard strike go just wide of the bottom-right corner.
Their best opportunity was still to come and it was a glorious one, as Roman Zobnin crossed from the right flank and the unmarked Ze Luis headed agonisingly wide of Handanovic's left-hand post 13 minutes from time.
Spartak's persistence ultimately paid off, as Lorenzo Melgarejo prodded in behind the Maribor defence for Ze Luis to sweep home from close range.
But they failed to make the game safe, as Mesanovic was left with the easiest of finishes right at the end after Marcos Tavares smashed the ball across the face of goal.
Spartak were left stunned and will now likely need a win at Anfield in their final group game to secure passage to the knockout phase.
|Bale makes emphatic point after Champions League omission|
|Casemiro: I bet Ronaldo stays at Madrid|
|Brewers pull away for blowout win over Mets|
|Warriors´ outburst sinks Rockets, forces game seven|
|MLS Review: Timbers win sixth straight, Techera scores hat-trick|
|It was like wrestling – Klopp unhappy with Ramos challenge on Salah|
|McKinnon says 49ers aiming to win Super Bowl this season|
|Choo makes history with walk-off home run, Rangers seeking ball|
|Shin-Soo Choo makes history with walk-off home run, Rangers seeking ball|
|Marcelo: I think Cristiano Ronaldo will stay at Real Madrid|
|Miller-Uibo shines as Semenya sets record in Eugene|
|Rose extends lead as Spieth slides|
|Prompt recovery, Salah – Ramos wishes Liverpool star well|
|Indians reliever Miller headed back to disabled list|
|Warriors´ Iguodala to miss game six against Rockets|
|I shouldn´t have done it – Ronaldo accepts future comments mistimed|
|Klopp: Liverpool behind Karius after Champions League horror show|
|Karius´ final blunders could destroy his career – Kahn|
|Zidane understands Bale frustration|
|Bale, Karius send Twitter into overdrive in action-packed Champions League final|
|Ronaldo: It should be called the CR7 Champions League|
|Zidane revels in Madrid´s third successive Champions League title|
|I lost Liverpool the game – Karius apologises for Champions League errors|
|Barcelona congratulate Champions League winners Real Madrid|
|Salah injury update: Egyptian FA calm World Cup fears|
|Ronaldo must stay with Madrid - Zidane|
|Champions League final player ratings: Bale stars as Karius shocker costs Liverpool|
|Cristiano is happy and will continue to be happy – Perez cools Ronaldo future talk|
|Win as a team, lose as a team - Liverpool captain Henderson not blaming Karius|
|Modric: Madrid have built dynasty like Bulls, Celtics and Lakers|
|Where would Cristiano go? - Benzema predicts Ronaldo stays at Madrid|
|We do not think about that - Zidane shrugs off Ronaldo exit talk|
|The divine right of kings: Zidane´s Real Madrid ride luck all the way to greatness|
|Klopp fears Salah will miss World Cup|
|Du Plessis returns, 17 uncapped players selected by South Africa|
|Bale demands playing time after Champions League heroics|
|Ramos: Ronaldo is indispensable to Real Madrid|
|It´s been beautiful to play for Real Madrid - Ronaldo hints at shock exit|
|Salah injury marked beginning of the end for Liverpool|
|Bale double makes Champions League history|
|Bale, Mandzukic & the best Champions League final goals|
|Real Madrid 3 Liverpool 1: Brilliant Bale undoes Klopp and calamity Karius|
|Jokanovic proud Fulham stuck to style in Wembley win|
|Real Madrid´s Carvajal limps out of final to prompt Spain fears|
|Broughton and Catalans continue fine form|
|Tearful Salah off injured in Champions League final|
|Leinster complete historic double by beating Scarlets|
|Lions snatch win from Stormers, Brumbies stun Bulls|
|Bale sits out warm-up ahead of Champions League final|
|Cavaliers´ Kevin Love ruled out of game seven|
|Pavlyuchenkova saves two match points to win Strasbourg epic|
|Benzema comparisons have made me stronger, says Giroud|
|Pakistan´s victory charge frustrated by Buttler and Bess|
|Aston Villa 0 Fulham 1: Cairney secures Premier League return|
|Isco preferred to Bale in Champions League final|
|Castres hold off Racing to book Top 14 final berth|
|McIlroy recovers late to share Wentworth lead with Molinari|
|Mancini perfect for new-look Italy, says Baselli|
|F1 Raceweek: Ricciardo set to vanquish Monaco demons|
|Goretzka confident over World Cup fitness|
|No pain, just cramp - Farrell allays injury fears|
|Sri Lanka to work with ICC after pitch-doctoring reports|
|Champions League Diary: Madrid fan´s brass act, Liverpool lap it up|
|FIFA dampens Platini´s ban reversal hopes|
|Germany unsure over Boateng´s full-training return date|
|Wyles bows out in style as Saracens regain Premiership crown|
|Fucsovics brushes aside Gojowczyk to claim first ATP crown|
|Not in my lifetime - Shilton will ´never forgive´ Maradona|
|Gutsy Thiem clinches Lyon title to build Roland Garros momentum|
|Martinez accuses Real Sociedad of blocking Manchester City move|