|The Aussie striker capitalised on a slip from Middlesbrough's Andrew Davies and lobbed Mark Schwarzer to complete an unlikely victory for his side.|
It was particularly harsh on the young central defender, who impressed throughout, and both Viduka and Alan Smith were quick to console him after the final whistle.
Yet Davies must have been a crestfallen figure in the dressing room with the knowledge that he had presented a gift-wrapped goal to Mark Viduka. There appeared to be no danger until Davies slipped and left Viduka with just keeper Mark Schwarzer to beat.
Viduka, who had been kept in control until this moment, gleefully accepted his chance.
There was plenty of action and thrills in a game that Boro possibly deserved a share of the spoils.
Middlesbrough had the balance of play, and more scoring chances, but that will be of little consolation to Steve McClaren.
Leeds struck the first blow when the lively Lamine Sakho, who looks to be a good signing from Marseille put them ahead after 16 minutes.
Middlesbrough staged a strong two-goal rally after the break to take the lead. Szilard Nemeth after 60 minutes and Juninho pounced on a half clearance three minutes later.
Leeds, who battled for every ball, refused to give up the ghost and Zoumana Camara levelled the scores after 77 minutes.
The Middlesbrough defence left Camara completely unmarked from a corner and he took full advantage with a strong header, Just when it looked like honours would finish even in this pulsating encounter Davies fell to the ground and Viduka became the match-winning hero to the travelling fans.
Spanish World Cup star Gaizka Mendieta made an impressive home debut and could prove a valuable signing for Middlesbrough.
But Leeds boss Peter Reid must have been pleased with the never say die spirit of his team.