A clash with visiting keeper Jens Lehmann led to the award following a melee and much confusion at the Paxton Road end. After a consultation with his assistant, referee Mr Halsey pointed to the spot, sparking joyous - followed by nervous scenes around the ground.
Even with such a delay, Robbie kept his cool, planted the ball into the top corner and the spoils were shared. The striker himself had no doubt that the penalty decision was the correct one.
"It was clear for everyone to see, he pulled me into the net and, after, gave me a push as I was walking away and I pushed him back.
"I didn't have a clue what the ref was going to do - I don't think anyone did. He gave the penalty and it was great for us.
"In the first incident I put my arms up to the referee not thinking he would give anything. He went over to the linesman and he had a better view than the ref."
With the pressure building and the weight of 33,000-odd fans on his shoulders, surely Robbie has never taken a bigger one in club combat.
"No I haven't. It was a long wait, but it wasn't too bad because we didn't know if it was a penalty - it was not like the ref gave it straight away.
"I was under a bit of pressure, but I felt confident enough and was able to put it in the corner."
Fredi Kanoute later revealed that Robbie had spent a bit of time taking penalties at Spurs Lodge in the days before - a hunch maybe?
"I don't know, I was just messing around in training taking a few penalties, but I didn't know we were going to get one. Luckily enough we did."
Robbie Keane described his last-gasp penalty kick against Arsenal as the most important he has taken in club football.