Tony Tchani scored the equalizer against his former team in second-half stoppage time as the Vancouver Whitecaps tied the Columbus Crew 2-2 on Saturday.
Fredy Montero also scored for the host Whitecaps (13-9-6).
Kekuta Manneh, who was traded by Vancouver to Columbus for Tchani in March, scored and set up Ola Kamara's goal for the Crew (13-12-5).
The result means both the Whitecaps, who started the day first in Major League Soccer's Western Conference, and the Crew stretched their unbeaten streaks to six games.
With his team pressing late, Tchani poked a shot home for his fourth goal of the season.
Traded to Columbus in March after four-plus seasons with Vancouver for Tchani and $300,000 (U.S.) in allocation money, Manneh posed for selfies with fans before the game and got a nice ovation during player introductions, but those warm feelings were put aside once the game kicked off.
With the game tied 1-1, Manneh grabbed the ball and sped through midfield with the Whitecaps retreating before blasting a shot past goalkeeper David Ousted for his fourth of the season in the 63rd minute.
Manneh didn't celebrate out of respect for his former club, but was lifted off his feet by jubilant teammates.
The Whitecaps had a couple of chances to equalize later on in the half, but Columbus goalkeeper Zack Steffen stopped Tchani's shot from outside the box before Brek Shea's effort flashed just wide.
Yordy Reyna then hit the post for a second time in the 81st minute, with Erik Hurtado missing the target on the follow-up before Tchani's late heroics.
The Whitecaps started the day first in the West with 44 points. The Portland Timbers also entered play with 44 points, but Vancouver owns the tiebreaker and also has two games in hand.
The third-place Seattle Sounders started a point back with one more game played than Vancouver.
The Timbers and Sounders were both in action later Saturday.
Playing their third game in eight days, the Whitecaps opened the scoring in the 15th minute after Reyna flicked a Cristian Techera pass into the path of a streaking Montero, who beat Steffen for the Vancouver striker's 12th.
The lead didn't last long.
Manneh, who has had a difficult season in Columbus overall, took on Whitecaps defender Jake Nerwinski down the left before playing a cross into the box that Kamara got a toe in front of centre back Tim Parker to beat Ousted for his 16th four minutes later.
The Whitecaps made three changes to the lineup that downed Minnesota 3-0 in mid-week, but the Crew carried the play most of the rest of the half, with Kamara coming close on a couple of opportunities before Ousted made a good stop on Federico Higuain just before halftime.
Reyna, who had scored in two straight games, nearly restored Vancouver's lead right after the restart thanks to some fancy footwork to shake a defender, but his shot smacked the far post and stayed out.
Notes: The Whitecaps wrap up a four-game homestand next Saturday against the Colorado Rapids. Centre back Kendall Waston will be suspended for that one after picking up a yellow card against Columbus. ... Vancouver is now 8-3-4 at home this season.