4 May 2012

Gambia: Pa Dembo Touray's Unlucky Santos Pay

When you're in the kind of dark spot Pa Dembo Touray's Santos found themselves in at the moment, you need to get lucky sometimes. But last night, Lady Luck probably thought she would rather stay under the covers than brave the cold at Athlone Stadium writes John Goliath of the Cape Town Times.

And the People's Team might as well prepare themselves for the promotion-relegation playoffs after last night's 1-0 defeat to Free State Stars. But at least they showed some fight, especially in the second half when they went in search of an equaliser after Stars took an early lead.

Santos are still one point behind Black Leopards, but the Limpopo team have two games in hand on the Cape side. But it seems like Jomo Cosmos are destined to go straight down to the National First Division after they were hammered 4-1 by Platinum Stars to leave them seven points adrift of Santos.

Santos' bad luck seemingly started the night before, when their coach Mart Nooij was rushed to hospital. It's not clear what is wrong with the coach, but his assistant coach Duncan Crowie, who took his place on the sidelines, said he would stay another night in hospital and will probably only go home before the weekend.

And Santos' old problem of only playing when they go behind returned. And the Cape side went behind early when Stars capitalised on a loose pass and Dove Wome slotted home neatly in the ninth minute. Santos just didn't possess the quality they needed to beat a highly-efficient and well-organised Stars team. Stars did exactly what they needed to do - try and get an early goal and keep it tight at the back.

Steve Komphela's unit looked like the home team for much of the first half, controlling possession, with their players also making some great runs to pull the sometimes bewildered-looking Santos defence apart. Santos then lifted their game to levels that have only been reserved for the likes of Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. And they piled on the pressure, with midfielder Tawonga Chimodzi going close from distance in the 50th minute. But those final passes in the attacking third of the pitch let them down, as the balls were either going in front or behind the players upfront.

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