Sharjah let slip a two-goal lead deep in injury time to draw 2-2 with Al Hilal in a thrilling Asian Champions League group stage clash at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh on Saturday.
Already eliminated by virtue of their head-to-head record against Group A's second-placed team Al Rayyan, Sharjah looked on course for a morale-boosting victory after Ousmane Camara and Majid Rashid provided first-half goals for the UAE Pro League side.
However, defending champions Hilal pulled one goal back through Muteb Al Mufarrij with 12 minutes remaining before Salem Al Dawsari, equalised from the penalty spot deep into added time.
Saudi side Hilal, who had already qualified for the Round of 16, consolidated top spot by moving on to 13 points, while Qatar’s Al Rayyan, who defeated Istiklol of Tajikistan 1-0 on the same night, are in contention to advance after taking their tally to 10 points with one game left.
Sharjah, who entered the match eager to return to winning ways after losing 3-1 to Rayyan last time out, took the lead after just five minutes when Bernard's free-kick found Khaled Ibrahim free on the right flank, the defender crossing perfectly into the path of an unmarked Camara to head home the opener.
Rashid doubled the lead in added time of the first half when he pounced on a rebound to strike a powerful shot past Hilal goalkeeper Mohammed Al Owais.
Hilal closed the gap in the 78th minute when Al Dawsari forced Adil Al Hosani into a save but the goalkeeper deflected the ball onto the path of Al Mufarrij to score from close range.
The defending champions then maintained their unbeaten group stage campaign when Al Hosani brought down Al Mufarrij inside the area, and Al Dawsari fired in the spot kick to deny Sharjah victory.
Sharjah will end their campaign against Istiklol while Hilal will play Rayyan on Wednesday.