Pahang could only return home with a point from their 1-1 draw against Sarawak in Kuching as table leaders Johor DT and Selangor slipped in their respective matches against Armed Forces and Kelantan.
Johor DT still head the chase for the title with their 38 points total after their 2-1 loss to Armed Forces, while Selangor have 34 points after their 2-0 loss to Kelantan.
Pahang wasted the opportunity to be closer at striking distance should Johor DT and Selangor falter in the remaining two more matches, when with the draw and they stand with 34 points.
Terengganu is in fourth spot after their 2-2 draw against Sime Darby with their 32 points. Kelantan in in fifth spot with 31 points while Sarawak are on 30 points.
Pahang led Sarawak 1-0 at halftime at the State Stadium in Kuching yesterday.
Matias Conti, who led Pahang’s attack in the absence of Dickson Nwakame, found the back of the net in 33rd minute.
Nwakaeme was left on the bench as Zainal played two imports, Damion Stewart and Zesh Rehman, at the heart of defence.
Both teams had their fair share of chances and could have taken the lead prior to the Argentinean’s goal.
Skipper Razman Roslan saw an effort saved by the Sarawak custodian Fadzley Rahim in the ninth minute while Azidan Sarudin had a freekick deflected a minute later. Fadzley also saved a Faizol Hussin freekick in the 20th minute.
At the other end, Hairul Mokhtar almost headed the ball past Khairul Azhan Khalid in the 14th minute. Sarawak however make back strongly in the secondhalf when they found the net two minutes after resumption when Joseph Kalang Tie scored.
Both teams fought tooth and nail in an exciting match to find the winner, but failed to score. Pahang’s coach Zainal Abidin Hassan made a double subsititution with Zesh out for Zaiza Zainal Abindn to come in while Fauzi was talen out for Nwakaeme to come in an attempt add some punch to the team.
But as both teams became desperate to find the winner aggressive player crept in and the referee was heavily criticised by fans for his bad and debatable refereeing.
Pahang in the end came under tremendous pressure from Sarawak and the defence had to work hard to contain continuous the attacks.
Razman did well to hold the defence with his commanding display.
Both and Pahang and Sarawak tried their level best to find the winner but had to settle for shared points.
1. Md Khairul Azhan Khalid (GK) 4. Damion Stewart 6. Zeshan Rehman 8. Azidan Sarudin 9. Matias Conti 11. Faizol Hussain 13. Mohd Razman Roslan (Capt) 19. Mohd Fauzi Roslan 20. Mohd Sharizan Salleh 21. Hafiz Kamal 24. R. Gopinathan, 13 Faizol,
23. Mohd Nasril Nourdin (GK) 7. R. Surendren 10. Dickson Nwakaeme, 12. Azammuddin Mohd Akil, 16 Hazri Rozali, 17 Zaiza Zainal Abidin 18. Muhamad Syawal Norsham ,
Coach: Zainal Abidin Hassan
22 Sani Anuar Kamsani (GK) 2. Ronny Harun 4. Mafry Balang 6. Mohd Lot Abu Hassan 9. Rashid Aya 12. Rames Lai Ban Huat 15. Putera Nadher Amarhan 17. Mohd Hairol Moktar 19. Joseph Kalang Tie (Capt) 23. S. Cahnthuru 26. Gabor Gyepe
1. Mohd Fadley Abd Rahman (GK) 3.Mazwani Zekeria 5. Milorad Janjus 7. Zamri Morshidi 11. Ashri Chuchu 13. Muhd Dzulazlan 14. Akmal Rizal
Coach: Robert Alberts
Referee: Mohd Amirul Izwan Yaacob, Linesman 1: Zulkifli Mohamad Zain, Linesman 2: Mohd Salleh Yaacob; Match commisioner: Genapathy Engkatesoo