Cape Town - Free State Stars coach Giovanni Solinas was left ruing what he described as a "bitter defeat" after going down 1-0 to Orlando Pirates on Saturday.
Tendai Ndoro's early strike proved the difference between the sides at the Orlando Stadium, with the result leaving Ea Lla Koto only just inside the top eight, while ninth-placed Ajax Cape Town have a game in hand.
Solinas, though, feels his side deserved more from this weekend's encounter after an encouraging second-half showing.
"I am very proud of the performance of the team. The guys performed well, especially in the second half where we dominated the game," Solinas said.
"Pirates only relied on counter-attack in the second half and we created more chances than them.
"I am happy with the performance but disappointed with the result. This was a bitter defeat because my team didn't deserve to lose."