The Netherlands striker scored just in time to defuse a Villarreal comeback and secure Barcelona's 3-1 victory on Saturday, and end his team's winless record in the Spanish league La Liga.
The Dutch would have qualified for the finals in Qatar next year with a win in Podgorica and they were well set after a Memphis Depay double gave them a 2-0 lead.
The draw at Bilbao came after Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 4-2 last weekend in its first match since the club had to let Lionel Messi walk away to sign for Paris Saint-Germain
The French striker finally has the opportunity to take centre stage and become a protagonist in Messi’s absence.
The Catalan club will have to find a way to succeed without Messi, while still facing the difficult financial situation that led to his departure.
Memphis Depay delivered a trademark performance for the Netherlands in a 2-0 victory over Austria at the European Championship.
Depay sent a penalty kick low into the corner in the 11th minute for his 27th goal in 66 international matches.
North Macedonia midfielder Ezgjan Alioski and Ukraine opponent Ruslan Malinovskyi both failed to score from the spot in the second half of their game on Thursday.
Frank de Boer's Dutch team will be aiming to make a big impression at their first major tournament since the 2014 World Cup and play all their Group C matches with Ukraine, Austria and North Macedonia