Both goals came towards the end of the opening period, with Jonny Howson firing the visitors ahead after 41 minutes, before Paul Anderson equalised for Ipswich in first-half injury time.
And that leaves this tie delicately balanced ahead of the return leg at Carrow Road next Saturday.
Mick McCarthy’s side could, and perhaps should, have taken an early lead after fine approach play down the right by Daryl Murphy, only for Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy to make two excellent reaction saves at his near post to deny both Freddie Sears and then Luke Varney.
However, those near misses appeared to bring out the best in the visitors, who slowly began to get a foothold in the match thereafter, with midfielder Alex Tettey unlucky not to open the scoring after 23 minutes with a lovely curled effort from the edge of the area that struck the outside of Bartosz Bia?kowski’s post.
Norwich kept on pressing, though, and after the home team had lost key striker Varney to what looked to be a serious ankle injury just past the half-hour mark, they took the lead with their first shot on target four minutes before half-time
Ever-lively forward Cameron Jerome got the better of Ipswich defender Tommy Smith, before making his way to the byline and pulling the ball back for midfielder Howson to coolly side-foot home from just inside the penalty area for his ninth goal of the season.
But if Canaries boss Alex Neil thought his side would be leading at the break, he was wrong as back came Ipswich to draw level in the six minutes of injury time added on at the end of the first half for Varney’s earlier injury.
Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy, however, must take his share of the blame for the goal, with the England international initially fumbling Freddie Sears’ effort from just inside the box, before the alert Anderson found himself in the right place at the right time to tap home his first goal since Boxing Day.
Thereafter, both teams appeared happy to settle for a draw, although Sears will have been disappointed not to have kept his far-post header under the crossbar after 66 minutes in a rare moment of excitement in the second half.
In fact, there were barely any efforts on goal after the interval, a situation that suited the visitors far more than their rivals going into the second leg.
Watch the semi-final second leg between Norwich and Ipswich on Sky Sports 1 HD next Saturday from 12pm.