|Kefile and Wiltwer © Backpagepix
Santos’ quest to avoid the relegation zone became that much more desperate as they lost 1-0 to Free State Stars at Athlone on Wednesday night.
The only goal of the goal came in the ninth minute, through Stars striker Dove Wome.
Santos had the first chance of the game, a half chance really, after two minutes when Phikolomzi Kefile arrived late at the back post just failing to reach Eleazar Rodgers’ flick on.
Stars however always looked dangerous on the counter-attack and their pace posed a threat to the home side on several occasions.
The visiting team were ahead after nine minutes when Dove Wome volleyed home with an angled shot.
In the 17th minute Santos again were within a whisker of a decent chance on goal when Rodgers narrowly failed to reach Ricardo Skippers’ delivery.
As the first half went on the visiting team grew in confidence and started to enjoy more and more possession as they stroked the ball around nicely.
Ea Lla Koto keeper Kennedy Mweene was given some work to do around the half hour mark when Wayne Arendse got his head onto a long ball, but the Zambian made a very good stop.
That was it for first half action as both sets of players went through the motions to a certain degree, with no further clear cut chances.
The break appeared to do the home side good as they came out for the second half playing with a renewed sense of vigour and determination.
This saw Tawonga Chimodzi shooting over the bar, while Vuyisile Wana’s cross into the Stars box was only just prevented from reaching substitute Bheki Shabangu.
It was at the other end though that the next goal should have arrived - Edward Manqele was given the chance to score when one on one with Pa Demba Touray, but the Santos keeper made a superb save to keep his side in the game.
The Cape side to their credit kept on pushing hard for an equaliser and had Ea Lla Koto on the back foot with a succession of free kicks and corners.
But Stars keeper Kennedy Mweene was not however over-worked as Morris fired in a relatively tame free kick and Shabangu fired a decent effort over the bar.
There was also a late chance for Rodgers, but Soriola Gege did superbly to get in the block, with that going Santos’ last chance at salvaging at least a point.
Santos (0) 0
Free State Stars (1) 1 (Wome 9’)
Santos (4-4-2) Touray; Ntloana (Eugene 74‘), W Arendse, Morris, Skippers; King, Kefile (Shabangu 52‘), T Arendse, Chimodzi, Wana (Segalo 65‘), Rodgers
Stars (4-4-2) Mweene; Gege, Ouro-Akoriko, Mashaba, Wiltner, Coetzee (Mhamha 73‘), Mashego, Wome (Sekgobela 74‘), Makola, Mosikidi (Chivuta 65‘), Manqele