Tottenham's bid to overhaul Manchester City in the race for the Champions League suffered a blow as West Bromwich Albion snatched a 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
Harry Redknapp's side could have moved up to fourth in the Premier League table with a win over the Baggies.
However, Simon Cox's late equaliser for the visitors leaves Spurs one point behind City, who can increase that lead when they play Blackburn on Monday.
After a fairytale run in the Champions League, Spurs are desperate to take part in the competition again next season, but their hopes are dwindling after this result.
They went into the game on a high after showing tremendous character to come back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with Arsenal in their last match.
But, despite their ambitions of a top four finish, Spurs kicked off with a record of one win in their last six matches.
Since Roy Hodgson replaced Roberto Di Matteo as Albion boss in February, he has steadied the ship so well that the team are virtually assured of their survival in the Premier League.
Hodgson has to take the credit for the Baggies' revival yet striker Peter Odemwingie has also been instrumental.
He proved to be a pivotal figure once more as he capitalised on a slip-up by Benoit Assou-Ekotto to curl past Heurelho Gomes in the fifth minute.
It was an excellent counter-attacking move by West Brom and a pass from Carlos Vela to Odemwingie was crucial.
There was more bad news for Tottenham as Assou-Ekotto suffered a groin strain trying to stop the Nigeria international and had to be substituted.
Tottenham pressed for an equaliser and they came close to getting it when William Gallas headed over from Rafael van der Vaart's 17th minute free-kick.
Yet they did pull level 10 minutes later. This time West Brom were caught unaware as Chris Brunt failed to clear the ball.
His error allowed Roman Pavlyuchenko to hammer home from the edge of the box.
It was a well-taken finish from the Russian striker, who had not scored since March 6.
After the break, Odemwingie thought he had given West Brom the lead once again when he connected with Nicky Shorey's cross. But the striker was denied by an excellent fingertip save by Gomes.
Spurs were struggling to find a way through a resilient West Brom midfield, despite all the excellent work by the impressive Sandro.
Aaron Lennon was introduced to add more pace yet it was Defoe who scored the next goal in the 67th minute.
The striker netted his 100th Premier League goal with a fine low finish from the edge of the box.
There was still time for another twist as substitute Cox curled home from the edge of the box with only nine minutes remaining.