A late strike saw Tottenham lose 1-0 at Wigan and remain in the Premiership relegation zone.
But, in a game of few chances, Defoe's only contribution was to drag a rare goal scoring opportunity well wide.
With the game destined to remain scoreless, Wigan's Maynor Figueroa headed home a corner deep into extra time.
"That's the third league game away from we've lost in the last minute. We can't keep shooting ourselves in the foot like that," a despondent Spurs boss Harry Redknapp told Sky Sports.
"Again we failed to defend a corner and it’s cost us the game.
"It's very hard to change the desire of players to get a result, and that's been a problem at Spurs for some time.
"We've just got to pick ourselves up and keep going. It's disappointing because we are better then that."