The People’s Team’s fate was sealed when FC Cape Town, one of four Cape teams in the bottom five of the league, beat Mthatha Bucks 1-0 to secure their NFD status.
The result left Santos 10 points adrift from 14th-placed Milano United on 29 points with three games remaining – one of which was yesterday’s clash with promotion-chasing AmaZulu.
The Lansdowne team, who have won only three matches in the campaign scoring 14 goals, lost 3-0.
Meanwhile, FC Stellenbosch continued their push for promotion with a 2-0 win over Real Kings.
Lying third in the standings – the second playoff spot, two points clear of Witbank Spurs.