Title contenders Moroka Swallows fought back from a goal down to claim a valuable away point from Santos as the teams played to a 1-1 draw at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Although Swallows coach Gavin Hunt acknowledged that a point won in Cape Town usually constituted a good result, the outcome of todays encounter was no good for either side.
The single point saw Swallows title hopes fade, while at the same time a top eight finish is now also looking more unlikely for the Cape Town outfit.
Playing on the same smooth, lush surface that saw Bafana Bafana and Jamaica playing to a 0-0 draw in midweek both sides passed the ball fluently in the early stages but failed to convert the opportunities
that came their way.
Although Swallows played the better football during the opening period the teams went into the break level on 0-0. Matters sprung to life soon after the resumption with Santos taking the lead courtesy of a well-taken effort in the 51st minute from man-of-the-match Carlo Scott.
The talented Scott, who ran tirelessly throughout the game, struck from just inside the area after he was played in by a superb header from his skipper Edries Burton.
Swallows were back on level terms 13 minutes later after substitute Keryn Jordan got on the end of a cross from Jabulani Mendu to beat the keeper with a powerful header.
The action continued to flow fast-and-furious with chances falling to both sides in the closing 20 minutes. Both keepers, Andre Arendse for Santos and Greg Etafia for Swallows were in good form, making crucial saves.
After the match Santos manager Boebie Solomons paid tribute to Etafia, crediting him for keeping out The Peoples Team - the Swallows stopper making one crucial save at the feet of Scott in the closing minutes.