Defending S.League champions Tampines Rovers struck at the death on Thursday evening to force a thrilling 3-3 draw against Warriors FC at the Clementi Stadium.
The Warriors had edged ahead in the 20th minute when Nicolas Velez raced through and scored with a powerful finish, before Miroslav Pejic made it 2-0 from the spot three minutes later after he had been brought down inside the box.
But Tampines responded seven minutes after the break when Aleksandar Duric headed home an Anaz Hadee cross, and the scores were remarkably level two minutes later when Imran Sahib played in a low ball for Miljan Mrdakovic to stab home.
It then looked as though the visitors had done enough to claim all three points as the clock ticked over into injury-time; Marin Vidosevic rising highest to head home Pejic’s freekick.
However, the Stags went to claim a share of the spoils right at the death when substitute Matthew Abraham slotted home after being set up by Duric.
The result will come as a blow to both sides’ title aspirations as leaders DPMM FC can now move seven points clear with a win over Tanjong Pagar United on Friday.
Over at the Jurong East Stadium, Geylang International were finally handed their first defeat under Jorg Steinebrunner after a seven-game unbeaten run, falling to a 4-2 loss at the hands of Albirex Niigata (S).
It was the White Swans who had broken the deadlock after 12 minutes when Kazuki Sakamoto raced onto Kazuya Okazaki’s through-ball and held off Joaquin Lopez, before slotting into the bottom corner.
Nonetheless, Geylang equalised two minutes after the half-hour mark when Fabian Kwok unleashed a stunning long-range strike that dipped beyond Kazuki Kishigami and into the back of the net.
The Eagles then edged ahead two minutes into the second half when Kwok turned provider as he played in captain Ridhuan Muhammad, who made no mistake in finishing past Kishigami.
Still, the advantage lasted just eight minutes when Albirex equalised after Shuhei Hotta smashed home Keisuke Ota’s cross from inside the six-yard box, and they took the lead once more in the 71st minute; Okazaki meeting Itsuki Yamada’s left-wing delivery with a shot that was too hot for Joey Sim to handle.
And ten minutes from time, Kento Nagasaki wrapped up the three points for the hosts when he scored their fourth in a one-on-one situation, before Geylang’s miserable night was compounded by a red card shown to Mustaqim Manzur for a second bookable offence in the 85th minute.
Thursday’s S.League Results
Albirex Niigata (S) 4-2 Geylang International
Tampines Rovers 3-3 Warriors FC