League leaders Tanjong Pagar United dropped their first points of the season against a Harimau Muda side who battled hard to claim a deserved draw after falling behind
Tanjong Pagar United went into the game looking to preserve their 100% record while the young Tigers were keen to continue where they left off from the previous game, a win against Woodlands Wellington.
Indeed, it could be argued that they enjoyed the better of the first half, before going behind on the stroke of half-time to a beautifully flighted free-kick from the edge of the area by Kamel Ramdani.
Admittedly, the Malaysian side had already survived a close call in the 41st minute when Moroccan star Monsef Zerka volleyed against the crossbar following a precise cross from the right by Ismael Benahmed, before the latter spooned over from six yards four minutes later when it seemed easier to score.
That was the best period of the game for the Jaguars, who had to fight tooth and nail to contain an exuberant and speedy Young Tiger side that looked capable of stealing all three points.
In the end they had to settle for a single point, a low strike by defender Asri Mardzuki in the 83rd minute doing the damage after the Jaguars failed to clear their lines.
Tanjong Pagar did have a goal disallowed for offside before that in the 76th minute, when Ahmad Latiff set up Hafiz Nor for a cross that was turned into goal adroitly by Zerka with a well-timed header.
A last-minute reprieve also came the way of Harimau Muda when goalkeeper Ilham Amirullah came rushing off his line but was beaten to the ball by Benahmed, whose dipping effort was not powerful enough to find its way into the net before a defender whisked the ball to safety.