Durban - Mamelodi Sundowns all but conceded defeat in their PSL title challenge on Wednesday after being held 1-1 by AmaZulu in Durban.
The result left the Pretoria club four points behind leaders Ajax Cape Town in third place with just two matches remaining in the richest African national football championship that carries a 1.4-million-dollar first prize.
"We had to win all three matches," conceded Sundowns caretaker coach Ian Gorowa. "An intense match against Kaizer Chiefs last Sunday took a lot out of us and we were not hungry enough in front of goal."
A stalemate at King Zwelithini Stadium was no surprise as AmaZulu have drawn 15 of 28 Premiership matches this season - more than any other side in the 16-club championship.
South Africa World Cup striker Katlego Mphela became joint leading Premiership scorer with 13 goals after heading Sundowns in front on 33 minutes off a Matthew Pattison cross.
AmaZulu levelled in the final minute of the opening half when a Sibusiso Hadebe free kick from near the touchline skimmed off the head of Sundowns defender Siyenda Xulu en route to the net.
Ajax can become South African champions for the first time if they defeat Kaizer Chiefs in northern city Polokwane on Saturday and second-place Orlando Pirates fail to collect maximum points away to Santos in Cape Town.