Guangzhou Evergrande failed to restore their eight-point gap at the top of the Chinese Super League standings on Sunday evening as Luiz Felipe Scolari's side conceded a late equaliser to draw 2-2 with Jiangsu Suning.
Wang Song scored with just three minutes remaining to give Fabio Capello's team a share of the points and leave Guangzhou's lead over Shanghai SIPG at six points with five games to play.
Ricardo Goulart gave Guangzhou the lead after just 11 minutes but Yang Boyu's goal in the 33rd minute levelled the scores.
Alan Carvalho looked like he had given Guangzhou a sixth-straight win in the league when he netted in the 75th minute, only for Wang to claim a late equaliser for Capello's improving Jiangsu.
"Our matches against Jiangsu have always been very tight, and so was this one tonight," said Scolari.
"Jiangsu have had their own issues to solve, but undoubtedly they are still a very strong team. Today a 2-2 result is fair."
SIPG had defeated Shanghai Shenhua 6-1 on Saturday evening to reduce the reigning champions' lead while the point earned by Jiangsu moved Capello's side further from the relegation places.
Last year's runners-up are now in 13th in the standings, six points clear of both Tianjin Teda and Yanbian Funde, who occupy the bottom two places in the table.
"It was a very entertaining match, full of fun and competition," said the Italian. "Both sides presented good quality. I believe the result is fair to both sides.
"We told our players before the game that we have to play in the way that we have trained. The players proved that to me with their effort."
In the day's other game, a late goal from Ricardo Vaz Te was not enough to stop Henan Jianye from falling to a 2-1 loss at the hands of Guizhou Zhicheng.