It was a disappointing end to the season for Stipe Plazibat as he missed out on the S.League Golden Boot after drawing blanks in a 0-0 draw for Home United against Tampines Rovers at Our Tampines Hub on Saturday night.
The Croatian had a goal disallowed in the first half, which would have seen him draw level on 26 for the season with Tsubasa Sano from champions Albirex Niigata (S).
The stalemate means that Tampines finish four points above Home in second spot, but eight points behind Albirex.
Tampines started on the front foot and troubled Home's national custodian Hassan Sunny on two occasions in the opening minutes.
The 33-year-old pushed away Player of the Year nominee Ryutaro Megumi's close-range shot, before repelling Shahdan Sulaiman's goal-bound free kick.
Home gradually got into the affair, with Plazibat thrashing just wide from a tight angle on 19 minutes.
The contentious moment of the game came five minutes later.
With the assistant referee flagging for a foul, Tampines players stopped play, which allowed Faris Ramli to tee up Plazibat to convert.
The goal looked to have stood. But it was eventually overruled after discussion between the officials, much to the dismay to the Croatian, who was subdued for the remainder of the game.
Tampines could have broken the deadlock just before half-time, but Khairul Amri could only stab wide from Megumi's cross.
Although Home were dominant after the break, they were unable to put their chances away.
Veteran full-back Juma'at Jantan went close with a speculative drive from distance on 61 minutes, rattling the underside of the crossbar before bouncing to safety.
Aidil Sharin's side threw the proverbial kitchen sink towards the dying stages, but could not bring the Tampines roof down.
Substitute Song Uiyoung's shot punched away by Tampines stand-in goalkeeper Haikal Hasnol before Aqhari Abdullah's drive went just past the upright.
Aidil refused to criticise the officials for the disallowed goal, which could have ended their season on a high note.
"We have to respect the referee's decision, even though I'm quite sad because it could have a crucial winning goal for us," the former Singapore international said.
Meanwhile, Tampines counterpart Jurgen Raab was satisfied to end the season with a point.
"I must say Home played very well and we were a bit lucky," the German admitted.
"We did not have as much clear cut chances as we did in the first half. I think that the draw was a fair result for both sides."
In Saturday night's other game, Brunei DPMM gave departing coach Steve Kean a farewell present with a 2-1 win against bottom-placed Garena Young Lions.
Singapore's domestic football calendar ends next Saturday, with Albirex Niigata (S) taking on Philippines invitee Global-Cebu in the tournament's first all-foreign final.
Local outfits Home United and Hougang United will face off in the third place playoff.
Tampines Rovers: Haikal Hasnol (GK), Madhu Mohana, Fahrudin Mustafic (C), Daniel Bennett, Shannon Stephen (Ismadi Mukhtar 64'), Son Yong Chan, Shahdan Sulaiman, Irwan Shah Ryutaro Megumi, Khairul Amri (Fazrul Nawaz 74'), Hafiz Sujad (Fazli Ayob 68')\
Home United: Hassan Sunny (GK, C), Aqhari Abdullah, Haziq Azman, Afiq Yunos, Juma'at Jantan, Amiruldin Asraf (Iqram Rifqi 67'), Izzdin Shafiq, Adam Swandi (Marijan Suto 82'), Christopher van Huizen (Song Uiyoung 59'), Faris Ramli, Stipe Plazibat