The Houston Dynamo were without the guidance of head coach Dominic Kinnear, and it showed as they conceded an equalizer in stoppage time to throw away two points in a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park on Friday.
Kinnear was serving a suspension after getting ejected in Houston's 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake last time out.
His absence appeared to have no impact on the Dynamo when Brad Davis took a layoff from Oscar Boniek Garcia in the 58th minute and fired a brilliant left- footed shot past Jimmy Nielsen from outside the box.
Houston looked to be on its way to all three points until Sporting leveled the score in the third minute of second-half stoppage time.
Graham Zusi collected a loose ball in the Dynamo penalty area and chipped a ball to the back post where C.J. Sapong was waiting to snap a header past Tally Hall from close range, ending a 12-game goalless drought for the Sporting striker.
The result ensures that Sporting (15-7-6) will remain atop the Eastern Conference table at least until Wednesday when the club heads to Red Bull Arena to face Red Bull New York.
Houston (12-7-10) goes level with the Red Bulls on 46 points apiece, though New York holds two games in hand and hosts the Columbus Crew on Saturday.