The MLS reigning champions got back on the winners' list for the first time since April as Robbie Keane returned from injury.
Los Angeles Galaxy's winless run in MLS came to an end on Friday, while Jason Johnson scored on the final play to clinch a 2-2 draw for Chicago Fire.
The Galaxy had not won in five games and looked set for a sixth match without victory against Houston Dynamo until second-half stoppage time.
Alan Gordon's header looped into the net from the cross of fellow substitute Robbie Keane in the 92nd minute, as the reigning MLS champions triumphed 1-0.
LA captain Keane made his comeback from a groin injury, coming off the bench for the final 34 minutes to end a seven-game stint on the sidelines, and the veteran striker produced the decisive play for the hosts.
The drama did not end there, however, with Galaxy full-back Oscar Sorto sent off in the 96th minute for a tackle from behind on Dynamo's David Horst.
Houston were denied a penalty too, with the referee awarding a free-kick on the edge of the box, despite Sorto's tackle beginning inside the area.
In Ohio, a brace from Kei Kamara put Columbus Crew 2-0 up early in the second half but the visiting Fire surged back with Johnson heading in the equaliser in the fourth minute of stoppage time - his first goal for Chicago.
The Crew had won their past three home games heading into their clash with Chicago and looked on track for a fourth straight win at Columbus Crew Stadium after Kamara struck in the eighth and 55th minutes.
A sharp turn from Justin Meram was critical in the lead-up to Columbus' first goal, as the Iraq international picked out Ethan Finlay, who squared the ball for Kamara to finish.
Kamara completed his brace with a header nine minutes after half-time, following Kevan George's flick-on from Federico Higuain's corner.
But Chicago hit back in the 58th minute through David Accam and, after dominating the closing stages, the Fire claimed a point thanks to Johnson's long-range header from Eric Gehrig's cross.
It was a welcome change of events for the Fire, who conceded a stoppage-time equaliser at New York City last week.