The Netherlands missed the chance to seal qualification for the 2022 World Cup as Montenegro produced a late comeback to snatch a 2-2 draw.
Norway's goalless draw with Latvia earlier in the day gave the Oranje a chance to win Group G with a game to spare at Podgorica City Stadium and they were well on course to grasp their opportunity courtesy of a Memphis Depay double.
Depay struck from the penalty spot in the first half before the leading scorer in European qualifying took his tally to 11 after the break to give Louis van Gaal's breathing space.
Montenegro looked beaten, but Ilija Vukotic set up a tense finale when he halved the deficit with eight minutes to play and fellow substitute Nikola Vujnovic stunned the Netherlands when he equalised after 86 minutes.
The Oranje go into what promises to be a tense final group game against third-placed Norway on Tuesday leading their opponents and Turkey by two points.
There was a let-off for the Oranje in the 16th minute, when Vladimir Jovovic fired into the side-netting from a tight angle after Justin Bijlow was unsure whether to come for a cross.
Marko Jankovic gifted Van Gaal's men the chance to take the lead 25 minutes in, bundling Davy Klaassen over and enabling Depay to drill into the bottom-left corner from the spot.
Arnaut Danjuma flashed a first-time shot just wide after Donyell Malen rounded his man and fizzed a inviting cross into the Villarreal winger's path before Bijlow palmed away a Jankovic drive.
Steven Bergwijn replaced Malen at half-time for a Netherlands side that took another huge stride on the road to Qatar by doubling their lead nine minutes after the break.
It came as no surprise that it was Depay to find the back of the net once again, nipping in front of Stefan Savic to turn in a cross from the marauding Denzel Dumfries.
But Vukotic cooly rounded Bijlow and applied the finish to set Netherlands nerves jangling and Vujnovic rose above Daley Blind to head home, leaving the group leaders stunned.