Substitute Jeremy Sarmiento returned Ipswich Town to the automatic promotion spots with a last-minute equaliser against Championship leaders Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
The Foxes appeared to be heading 10 points clear at the summit once more after an own goal by Leif Davis had put them ahead in the first half.
In a thrilling second half, Foxes goalkeeper Mads Hermansen made a superb save from Wes Burns immediately after the break, while Kasey McAteer had an effort of his own cleared off the line at the other end.
But when Hermansen could only knock a Massimo Luongo shot down in the area, Brighton loanee Sarmiento was quickest to pounce with a shot that squeezed under the Danish stopper.
It is the second time in four weeks Ipswich have left it late to earn themselves a share of the spoils with Leicester, having also done so on Boxing Day at Portman Road.
The draw this time lifted them above Southampton and back into second place, with Leicester maintaining their seven-point lead at the top.
The Foxes had a 10-game unbeaten league run, including eight wins, ended by Coventry City last time out.
It was a fourth league loss of the season and slowed their record pace in top spot, although only the Reading side that won the 2006 Championship title with a never-before-seen 106 points has amassed more points than Enzo Maresca’s men after 28 games.
It was a game that also cost them Maresca’s presence on the touchline for the visit of Ipswich after the Italian was shown a third yellow card of the season.
There were fears influential midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall would also be missing after picking up a knock in that game, but he was fit enough to start.
On the bench for the first time in two months, Leicester were also able to call on fit-again 37-year-old former England international Jamie Vardy – a striker whose goals got them promoted a decade earlier, then helped deliver a miraculous Premier League title and FA Cup glory.
His late introduction brought with it roars of delight, which were not to be repeated at full-time as Sarmiento stunned the Foxes faithful with his late equaliser.
Mavididi shows quality but Foxes waste chances
A bright, possession-dominant and menacing start by Leicester generated numerous chances, with Tom Cannon and Stephy Mavididi bobbing and weaving into the box before being crowded out by Ipswich’s defence.
A rare aimless pass from Dewsbury-Hall, as he looked to tee up Cannon at the end of a counter-attack started by Ricardo Pereira, allowed the first big chance go to waste.
It came only minutes before Hamza Choudhury had a fierce curled effort from outside the box pushed around the post by visiting keeper Vaclav Hladky.
Eventually, Ipswich’s resistance was broken by Mavididi’s quality.
The former Arsenal, Juventus and Montpellier forward traded passes with both Harry Winks and Pereira before whipping a low ball across the face of goal which the backtracking Davis could only bundle into his own net.
Leicester kept racking up the first-half chances, but Pereira and McAteer were off target while Cannon was foiled by Hladky.
Sarmiento’s first goal lifts Ipswich
Ipswich, a side that has mounted an automatic promotion push after coming up from League One, failed to seriously threaten in the first 45 minutes.
Boss Kieran McKenna sent out a more positive team for the second half and, among a succession of early corners, Burns tested Hermansen with a fierce close-range volley.
A Lewis Travis clearance off Ipswich’s line denied Leicester a second before the hour, while Cannon had a thunderous shot from the top of the box parried by Hladky, who kept out McAteer late on.
It took a club record 20-game unbeaten league run for Southampton to get into a tussle with Ipswich for the second automatic promotion spot, and Sarmiento’s first goal for the club ensured they again have a stranglehold of that fight.
‘A big shame for Foxes’ – reaction
Leicester City boss Enzo Maresca said:
“It’s a big shame. The effort of all the players was huge, it was unbelievable, and it’s always a shame when you drop points at the end.
“It happened there [at Portman Road] and it’s happened tonight – but that’s football. Until the end there is always danger or a chance for the other team to recover the game.
“It’s a shame for the result, because of the chances we created, but overall with the way we performed I’m very happy.”
Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna said:
“The second half was much more like ourselves and we can take a lot of confidence and lessons from that.
“I thought, on the balance of the second half, we probably deserved to get something from the game.
“The first half was difficult, I don’t think we managed to impose ourselves on the game as we would have liked to and we didn’t play with the conviction, on or off the ball, that we would like to.
“But it is a big step up, no doubt about it. And I think it felt like that in the first half with the level of the opponent, and we have come a long way in a short space of time.”
- 21Ricardo PereiraBooked at 84mins
- 35McAteerSubstituted forAlbrightonat 90′minutes
- 22Dewsbury-HallSubstituted forAkgünat 81′minutes
- 28CannonSubstituted forVardyat 81′minutes
- 2ClarkeBooked at 69mins
- 28TravisBooked at 59minsSubstituted forTaylorat 61′minutes
- 25LuongoBooked at 65mins
- 10ChaplinSubstituted forHutchinsonat 71′minutes
- 11HarnessSubstituted forSarmientoat 61′minutes
- 19JacksonSubstituted forBroadheadat 72′minutes
- Josh Smith
Match ends, Leicester City 1, Ipswich Town 1.
Second Half ends, Leicester City 1, Ipswich Town 1.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match because of an injury Massimo Luongo (Ipswich Town).
Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jeremy Sarmiento (Ipswich Town).
Substitution, Leicester City. Marc Albrighton replaces Kasey McAteer.
Goal! Leicester City 1, Ipswich Town 1. Jeremy Sarmiento (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.
Attempt saved. Massimo Luongo (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Nathan Broadhead.
Attempt missed. Nathan Broadhead (Ipswich Town) header from the left side of the six yard box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by George Edmundson with a headed pass.
Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City).
Leif Davis (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Kasey McAteer (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Yunus Akgün.
Attempt missed. George Edmundson (Ipswich Town) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by Leif Davis with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Jannik Vestergaard.
Substitution, Leicester City. Yunus Akgün replaces Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.
Substitution, Leicester City. Jamie Vardy replaces Thomas Cannon.
Offside, Ipswich Town. Wes Burns is caught offside.
Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by James Justin.