SINGAPORE - Hougang United battled from three goals down to draw 4-4 with Geylang International at Our Tampines Hub on Sunday (Sept 15), but the result could not prevent their hopes of a first Singapore Premier League (SPL) title going up in smoke.
Brunei DPMM hold an unassailable lead at the top of the table and will finish top of the league even if they lose their remaining two games, to Tampines Rovers (Sept 18) and Hougang (Sept 29). Both games will be played in Bandar Seri Begawan.
DPMM are on 47 points while Sunday's result meant Hougang have 43 with only one game left.
Third-placed Tampines have 37 points but with three matches to play while outgoing three-time champions Albirex Niigata (35), who beat Young Lions 4-1 at Jurong East Stadium, have two remaining.
Geylang forward Fareez Farhan was the chief tormentor of his former side Hougang last night, scoring a hat-trick inside the first 30 minutes to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead. The 25-year-old had celebrated earning his first cap for the Singapore national team in their 2-1 win over Palestine in a World Cup qualifying match played five days earlier.
Shahfiq Ghani and Faris Ramli pulled back goals for Hougang on either side of half-time, but Shawal Anuar made it 4-2 to Geylang in the 70th minute off a counter-attack.
Refusing to lie down, Hougang ralled with two goals in the final 15 minutes - Shahfiq and Faris both getting their second of the evening - but a winner proved elusive.