Cape Town - Santos remained entrenched in the relegation zone after they lost 1-0 to Free State Stars at Athlone on Wednesday night.
Santos had assistant coach Duncan Crowie back in charge for this game, with head coach Mart Nooij reported to be in hospital with an unspecified ailment.
Crowie saw his team making a reasonable start, with early-half chances to Phikolomzi Khefile and Eleazar Rodgers.
But after that, the effort and desire from the Peoples' Team tapered off a little as the Free State side grew in confidence and used their superior pace and mobility to dominate most of the remainder of the first half.
The visitors scored what turned out to be the winning goal after just eight minutes when Dove Wome took advantage of a mistake in the middle of the park to fire home a well-hit volley.
Santos looked a stronger side in the second half. There were chances for Tawonga Chimodzi, who fired just over the bar, and then for Bheki Shabangu, who hit his shot over the bar as well.
Stars could have managed a second goal when Edward Manqele ran into a one-on-one situation with Pa Demba Touray, but the giant keeper did well to keep his team in the match.
At the other end, Santos continued to press forward but Nasief 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, denying Santos a chance to salvage a point. - Sapa