Cape Town - Free State Stars striker Eleazar Rodgers says he and his teammates were devastated after their relegation from the Absa Premiership was confirmed on Saturday.
Ea Lla Koto's drop to the National First Division (NFD) was confirmed on the final day of the season when they lost 1-0 at home to eventual champions Mamelodi Sundowns while other results did not go their way.
Stars finished the campaign bottom of the log with 27 points and went down with only goal difference separating them from 15th-placed Maritzburg United, who drew 1-1 with Baroka on the final day.
The former Santos forward could not put his finger on exactly what went wrong with Stars this season.
In quotes published by Kickoff, Rodgers said: "What can I say, I'm lost for words.
"It's sad for so many reasons but we cannot put ourselves down when in fact we really pushed hard to survive... in the end, it never came.
"I don't think there's anything to put our finger on as solid proof to explain the difficult time we had leading to us falling short.
"No team is perfect. All teams have positives and negatives. In the end, it's a battle to win and a battle to survive.
"It's unfortunate that we could not qualify to stay up."