QPR's Nigerian defender rose unmarked at the far post to head home Lee Cook's corner from six yards after 32 minutes to put the visitors in front.
But the lead lasted only five minutes, as Georges Santos fouled Kenwyne Jones and Danny Higginbotham rifled the resulting free-kick past Simon Royce.
Higginbotham and Kamil Kosowski went close to snatching victory for Saints.
QPR manager Ian Holloway:
"To come to Southampton, who were in the Premiership last season, and play on a massive pitch and get a point is good enough for me.
"We have to remember we are little QPR and we have to be pleased at times to pick up points where we can.
"I thought we deserved to be 1-1 and I told my players to chill out as some of them were getting too upset."
Southampton: Niemi, Hajto, Lundekvam, Powell, Higginbotham, Prutton (Kosowski 75), Oakley (Wise 85), Quashie, Belmadi, Jones (Ormerod 75), Fuller.
Subs Not Used: Smith, Cranie.
Goals: Higginbotham 37.
QPR: Royce, Bignot, Shittu, Santos, Milanese, Moore, Bircham, Doherty (Lomas 68), Cook, Furlong (Langley 90), Sturridge (Nygaard 60).
Subs Not Used: Evatt, Ainsworth.
Booked: Santos, Sturridge, Bircham.
Goals: Shittu 32.
Ref: R Beeby (Northamptonshire).