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Johor Darul Ta'zim will have to wait for title after dropping points

Johor Darul Ta'zim couldn't clinch the title after a draw against PJ City. Johor Darul Ta'zim

Frontrunners Johor Darul Ta'zim FC were made to wait for their record seventh Malaysia Super League title for at least another week after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Petaling Jaya City FC on Friday.

JDT went into the weekend knowing a win would hand them the Malaysian league crown for the seventh season running, but found K. Devan's PJ City side tough yet again and dropped points for only the second time in this season's campaign.

What stopped JDT from sealing the title this weekend?

PJ City have been tricky for the Southern Tigers in recent years. Their only defeat in the 2019 campaign was a 1-0 loss at the Larkin Stadium to Devan's side -- which ended their 75-match unbeaten run at home and denied them a chance to repeat another "Invincibles" season after 2016.

Things had began well for Benjamin Mora's JDT as star winger Safawi Rasid gave them a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute only to see that advantage vanish two minutes later when Christie Jayaseelan fired past Malaysia goalkeeper Farizal Marlias for the equaliser.

The hosts then took the lead through captain K Gurusamy who converted a penalty, won by Brazilian forward Washington Brandao, in the first-half injury time. PJ City's hopes of going into the break with a lead were dashed when Safawi won a spot kick at the other end five minutes into the added time.

Gonzalo Cabrera beat PJ City goalkeeper Kalamullah Al-Hafiz to make it 2-2. The two sides fought for the upper hand after the interval, but there were no goals to report of in the second 45 minutes as the points were shared at Petaling Jaya.

How can they make it happen in the next match?

As the Malaysia Super League enters its penultimate round, Perak FA are the only side that can challenge the defending champions for the 2020 title. Bos Gaurus climbed to second in the standings with 17 points in nine matches after an emphatic 5-1 win over FELDA United on Friday.

Malaysia international Shahrel Fikri scored four goals while Guilherme de Paula added another.

Perak are six points behind leaders JDT with two games left to play but have a goal difference of just plus-3 compared to Johor's plus-17. Perak will need a few miracles to get their hands on the trophy.

JDT, who face relegation-threatened Sabah FA at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium on Friday, only need a point at home to guarantee their title. Even if they lost Sabah, they can still seal the championship if Perak drop points away at Pahang FA on Saturday.

What's still up for grabs

While the title chase my be bereft of drama, an AFC Cup berth and a relegation spot are yet to be decided.

Perak are now the favourites for second place that will see them represent the country in Asia's second-tier continental club competition while Kedah, who lost 2-1 to Pahang on Saturday, are a point behind. Promoted UiTM FC are fourth with 14 points -- three points away from second place -- while Terengganu FC and Pahang go into the last two rounds having collected 13 points each.

Meanwhile, at the bottom, Sabah gave themselves a boost in the relegation scrap after climbing above both FELDA and PJ City with a 3-2 win over Melaka United on Sunday. They now have nine points from as many matches while FELDA and PJ City have seven and eight points respectively.

The battle to avoid relegation is set to go down to the wire as the trio fight it out to decide who will accompany the already-relegated PDRM FA to the Malaysia Premier League.

In the upcoming fixtures, PJ City will face UiTM while FELDA takes on Terengganu.