Odion Ighalo's 89th-minute goal for Changchun Yatai denied Chris Coleman's Hebei China Fortune a second straight Chinese Super League win on Sunday as they were held to a 2-2 draw.
Coleman's side were looking for their third win in four games and twice took the lead before former Watford striker Ighalo's late strike.
"I'm sorry about this result," said former Wales manager Coleman. "It felt good when we got to 2-1 but unfortunately we lost a goal in the final stages. It was a stupid mistake. Getting one point would normally be good for us as the away team, but we should have won."
Ezequiel Lavezzi put Hebei in front with just eight minutes on the clock and it took until the 71st minute before Changchun levelled as Polish midfielder Adrian Mierzejewski scored from distance.
With seven minutes remaining Ayoub El Kaabi thought he had secured the win for Hebei when he bundled the ball over the line from close range, only for Ighalo to slot the ball past Yang Cheng to earn Changchun a point.
The result leaves both clubs on 25 points after 20 games, well adrift of Chinese Super League leaders Beijing Guoan and Shanghai SIPG.
Renato Augusto scored a hat trick for Guoan as they handed Tianjin Teda a 5-2 thrashing on Saturday to retain top spot ahead of SIPG by virtue of a better head-to-head record over the Shanghai outfit.
SIPG also have 42 points following their 2-1 win over Henan Jianye that came courtesy of goals from Brazilian duo Elkeson and Hulk.
Guangzhou Evergrande moved up to third place, three points behind the leaders, after Anderson Talisca netted twice as Fabio Cannavaro's side thrashed Shandong Luneng 4-1.
The win moved the seven-times champions above their opponents in the standings.
Tianjin Quanjian warmed up for their Asian Champions League quarterfinal meeting with Japan's Kashima Antlers next week with a 1-0 win over bottom side Guizhou Zhicheng and strugglers Chongqing Lifan and Dalian Yifang shared a 1-1 draw.
Shanghai Shenhua suffered a second straight defeat when Makhete Diop scored twice to help Beijing Renhe to a 3-1 win in their meeting with the Chinese FA Cup holders while Jiangsu Suning picked up their first win in four games with a 2-0 victory over Guangzhou R&F.