|Duncan Crowie © Backpagepix
Santos stand-in coach Duncan Crowie watched his side put in a spirited second half performance yet fail to get anything from their match against Free State Stars on Wednesday.
The Cape side lost 1-0, a result which leaves them a point behind 14th placed Black Leopards, who have two games in hand.
Crowie was a surprise presence on the Peoples’ Team bench. He explained why head coach Mart Nooij was absent:
“Three o’clock this (Wednesday) morning he phoned the chairman to say something is wrong and he has been rushed to hospital – I won’t go into medical details, He’s still in hospital, he wanted to come to the game but the doctors at the hospital said no he cannot.”
On his team’s showing against Ea Lla Koto, Crowie says that a slow start to the match proved to be costly.
“We started very slowly like we did against Sundowns, we only started playing after they scored.
“Second half we started well, we put them under pressure. When you are at the bottom of the log you find luck goes against you – luck definitely wasn’t on our side – a bit of luck here and there and we could have scored.
“We have to accept there are two games to go – like at the top of the log it seems no one wants to win games, and it’s the same at the bottom – nobody wants to get away.
“Like one of the players said, when we go into our next game against AmaZulu, we must go into the game like we are one goal down, maybe that should be the attitude.”
Stars coach Steve Komphela was gracious in victory, saying it had been a very tough evening for his players.
“One has to acknowledge the difficulty of the match, the first half was ok, but in the second half we were under a lot of pressure.
“We had to show a lot of commitment and passion and one has to compliment Santos – when they started pushing three strikers forward there were some moments which were very scary, but we survived.
“I ask myself how come they have not succeeded in the league playing like this – quality, aggression, willingness, maybe its just luck that’s missing.”