It was without a doubt that Johor Darul Takzim dominated the first half in their match against LionsXII on Saturday, as they took a one-goal lead into the dressing room.
But their fortress was finally breached seven minutes before the end of regulation time as LionsXII defender Safuwan Baharudin slammed home the ball for his third goal of the season to snatch a crucial point.
A win would have put Darul Takzim a point behind the league leaders in the final run-in of the Malaysian Super League campaign but with the result, they remained four points behind V. Sundramoorthy’s side.
Midfielder Safiq Rahim was visibly frustrated his side could not hang on as he spoke to the media after the match.
“I am definitely disappointed as we had managed to control the game till about the 80-minute mark and [then] we conceded that goal,” he lamented.
“We had targeted for all three points against LionsXII but this one point is good enough too.”While the LionsXII may have one hand on the trophy, the Malaysian international feels that the Southern Tigers still have a mathematical chance of winning the league, but acknowledges that they need favours from the other teams.
“The team just has to continue our fight and put on our best performance in the remaining matches,” he said.
“The title race is not over yet as we still have three more games to go and we should win those matches.
“At the same time, we hope that the other results will be favourable to us.”
Darul Takzim will next host Felda United on June 25 before they travel to the Bukit Jalil stadium for the FA Cup final against Kelantan FA on June 29.
However, Safiq will not be able to take to the field for the Felda game as he will join the likes of Andrezinho, Safee Sali and Nazri Ahmad in missing out due to suspension.
Aidil Zafuan will sit out both matches after his red card in the final minutes of the match against LionsXII.