Last season, the Phoenix were the only side to beat the defending champions, and on Friday, they dashed JDT’s title celebrations.
A win for the visitors would have confirmed their seventh successive Super League crown, but K. Devan’s side held them to a 2-2 draw at the Petaling Jaya Stadium.
The Southern Tigers drew first blood through Safawi Rasid (35th minute) and Gonzalo Cabrera (49th) while PJ City replied through Christie Jeyaseelan (37th) and K. Gurusamy (47th).
However, JDT get a chance to clinch the title at their home ground when they take on Sabah on Oct 2. They just need a draw against the relegation battlers.
They top the standings with 23 points, six points ahead of second-placed Perak.
JDT coach Benjamin Mora said maybe it is fated that they should seal their title at home and in front of their owner, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.
“That would be nicer. As a coach I want to win everywhere. However, it would be better to see the boys clinching the title at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium,” he said.
“PJ City are a side that fight and challenge hard. They have lots of stamina, their players are always running and are fast too. Those things made our night difficult.
“This season, besides PJ City, other teams like UiTM, Felda United and Terengganu also gave us a tough time.
“I must say the heavy pitch played a role too in the stalemate. The players were a little tired, heavy legs, but that’s not an excuse as both teams went through the same situation.”
Meanwhile, his counterpart was proud that his boys raised their game against the star-studded opponents.
“It wasn’t a one-sided game. We defended well and attacked at times too and got a valuable point,” said Devan.
“Honestly, if we didn’t concede the penalty in the first-half and kept the score at 2-1, we could have been better in the second half.
“Despite the draw, we are still not safe. We face UiTM and Police in our last two games and I have told the boys only full points would save us from the drop.”
PJ City are ninth with eight points and just two points away from the relegation zone.