Johannesburg - Vasco da Gama face a relegation battle against First Division teams after finishing second last on the Absa Premiership log, despite a thumping 3-0 win over Santos in Cape Town on Saturday.
Vasco finished the season on 30 points, equal with AmaZulu, but lost out on goal difference after the final round of league fixtures.
The hosts wasted two early chances with Jerome Ramathlakwane and Jonathan Armogam sending shots wide of the target within the first 10 minutes.
Josephy Kamwendo also came close for Vasco in the 18th minute, but his effort was saved by Santos goalkeeper Ryan Harrison.
Two minutes later, however, Vasco broke through when Armogam latched on to a pass from Kamwendo and scored from close range to give the hosts the lead.
That effort seemed to wake the Santos players from a slumber and the visitors took their first real chance in the 24th minute when Tasleem Paulse's shot was kept out by Vasco keeper Posnett Omony.
Harrison was kept busy on either side of half-time, with Vasco's strikers pushing forward in search of a second goal.
They were rewarded in the 58th minute when Ramathlakwane struck with a thunderous effort from inside the area.
Santos fluffed an opportunity five minutes later afer Graham King was brought down by Rudi Isaacs in the box.
King took the penalty but Omony did well to keep it out and retain his side's 2-0 lead.
Armogam struck again in the 86th minute when he scored from long range to secure a comfortable win for the hosts.
Santos, in seventh place before the final round of fixtures, dropped to eighth position with 37 points.