Simon Dyson and Oliver Wilson played 13 holes in nine under par, but were still only one up on Henrik Stenson and Alvaro Quiros in a superb fourball match at The Vivendi Trophy with Seve Ballesteros in Paris.
Great Britain & Ireland were looking to build on their 3-2 overnight lead over Continental Europe, but all five games were still in the balance after more than three hours' play.
Dyson and Wilson, first day winners over Søren Hansen and Peter Hanson, stood two up after five before big-hitting Quiros eagled the next and birdied the ninth to level.
Stenson then birdied three of the first four holes on the back nine, but did not win any of them and fell behind when Wilson birdied the 417 yard 11th.
That was one of three in a row for the Mansfield golfer and Dyson, sick with food poisoning before the event, hit his approach to three feet on the 445 yard 13th to match Stenson's three.
Behind them Nick Dougherty and Ross Fisher hit back from their opening day defeat to be one up as well on Hanson and Hansen, but it was the Continent ahead in the next two games.
Northern Irish pair Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy trailed by two after 11 to Anders Hansen and Francesco Molinari, while Robert Karlsson and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño were on course to inflict a second defeat on Robert Rock and Steve Webster at two up after nine.
It was tighter in the bottom clash, first day winners Anthony Wall and Chris Wood this time one up on Miguel Angel Jiménez and Søren Kjeldsen after eight.