Santos suffered a second half melt-down as Moroka Swallows scored three times to secure a 3-1 win at Athlone Stadium on Friday night.
Santos looked the more dangerous side early on and nearly drew first blood as Ricardo Skippers crashed a fifth minute free kick into the bar.
The game failed to dish up much goal-mouth action, although around the 25 minute period there was a flurry of chances from distance as Oscar Machapa shot wide for Swallows, as did Phikolethu Kefile and Tyren Arendse for the Cape team.
As the half progressed the Gauteng side began to threaten in attack, although they failed to make inroads into the Santos box, with too many crosses not finding their mark.
Machapa again gave the home side something to think about when he cut onto his left foot and sent a 25-yard effort just wide; the last real action of what was for the most part a quiet first stanza.
Santos were ahead with 50 minutes on the clock with a goal that appeared to come out of nowhere as Jonathan Armogam squeezed in a cross onto the head of Bheki Shabangu, who powered a header off the turf and into goal.
But Swallows were not about to roll over and after a lengthy spell of pressure from Gordon Igesund’s side, Lefa Tsutsulupa made it 1-1 after 72 minutes when his free kick caught Tshepo Motsoeneng in no-man’s land.
Opportunities, or at least half chances followed at both ends, but when Santos failed to clear their box of the ball after 83 minutes, Tsutsulupa was on hand to slam home a left-footed drive.
Bennett Chenene added salt to the Cape side’s wounds as he sneaked in from a tight angle to make it 3-1 in injury time. — Sapa