Borussia Dortmund needed an 85th minute equaliser by Julian Brandt despite dominating throughout to rescue a point in a 1-1 draw at promoted VfL Bochum on Saturday as they fell six points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.
Brandt bagged a fully deserved leveller after Bochum had taken the lead in the 40th minute with a Sebastian Polter penalty.
Second-placed Dortmund, with suspended coach Marco Rose in the stands, avoided a second straight loss but dropped further behind in the title race on 31 points with Bayern on 37.
"We had enough good chances to win this game," scorer Brandt said. "But if you don't use them then at the end of the match you only have a point.
"Not scoring was not just bad luck. You have to want to score and we had enough chances but we were not precise enough," he added.
Dortmund enjoyed a strong start and Jude Bellingham missed a golden chance to put his team in front when he only had Manuel Riemann to beat but the goalkeeper flicked his shot wide with a reflex save.
Erling Haaland was then denied by Riemann a little later, with Bochum putting up a fight in their mini Ruhr valley derby.
Despite the pressure it was the hosts who scored first, with Polter's well-taken penalty after Dortmund keeper Gregor Kobel had brought down Christopher Antwi-Adjei in the box.
The hosts, who lost 3-2 at home to Bayern last week, shot out of the blocks after the break and carved out chance after chance.
Marius Wolf thought he had scored the equaliser in the 53rd only to be overruled by a VAR review for offside.
Bochum were desperately hanging onto their slim lead with Dortmund by the 85th minute having fired 21 shots on goal compared to the hosts' three.
The visitors were finally rewarded with their 22nd shot on goal when Norway striker Haaland fed Germany international Brandt who scored from a tight angle.
Dortmund next host bottom club Greuther Fuerth on Wednesday.