A superb Gary Dempsey goal sealed a wonderful second half comeback from the Saints as they came from two goals down to secure a memorable draw in the Boras Arena in Sweden.
The Saints had the upper hand in the first twenty minutes before Elfsborg were given a dubious penalty in the the 24th minute which was converted by Ishizaki.
The Swedes doubled their lead on the 29th minute when Karlsson scrambled the ball home from two yards.
The second half started well for the Saints and the away teams break came in the 58th minute when they were awarded a penalty.
Mark Quigley duly converted from the spot to give the Saints a vital away goal.
But it was a wonderful team goal that sent the 150 strong travelling support into raptures in the 82nd minute. Ryan Guy broke down the right wing after superb work in midfield and his cross was headed home by Dempsey.
The return leg takes place in Richmond Park on August 28th.