Relegation-bound Hong Kong Sapling are refusing to throw in the towel after holding Sunray Cave Sun Hei to a 1-1 draw in the BMA First Division at Kowloon Bay Park last night.
Alex Akande scored a late equaliser with only five minutes left, beating goalkeeper Ho Kwok-chuen with a powerful drive from the right to rescue a point.
It was the second draw in a row for the experimental team after their impressive 2-2 result against second-placed TSW Pegasus.
Luk Chi-ho struck home in the first half to give the Senior Shield champions the lead, but Sun Hei were unable to find a second goal that could have killed off the match.
Sapling had the better chances in the second half. Su Yang's header from close range just went over the bar, but Akande made no mistake with his shot despite the challenge of Cristiano Cordeiro.
Sapling have now moved off the bottom of the standings with four points from 13 matches, one point ahead of fellow strugglers Sham Shui Po. Wofoo Tai Po, third from the bottom, are on 14 points.
'Mathematically, it is still possible to avoid relegation as there are still five matches left,' Sapling coach Paul Foster said. 'We may need a miracle, but football is a wonderful game. Anything can happen.' Foster paid tribute to the hard work his players put in, but said it would have been better if they had started the match with the same passion they showed in the second period.
Elsewhere, a late goal from Li Jian saved Biu Chun Rangers from defeat as they held visitors Tuen Mun to a 1-1 draw at Tsing Yi Sports Ground.
Milutin Trnavac headed in in the second minute to give Tuen Mun the lead, but Rangers then enjoyed most of the possession.
Trnavac missed a late opportunity, shooting wide from close range with only the goalkeeper to beat.
'We have only ourselves to blame for not claiming maximum points,' said Tuen Mun coach Yan Lik-kin.
'A lapse of concentration in defence cost us dearly while we also failed to take chances that came our way.'