It was Leal's first official match in charge, and the Brazilian is diplomatic about Bucs' performance.
"We created some chances and we wanted to win it in 90 minutes," Leal says. "We brought in some substitutes to boost our attack but we never managed to score until extra-time.
"This was the first official match after 30 days of preparation and there is still room for improvement. But it was a good start and we will get better with time."
Bucs struggled to create scoring chances, and it took two hours of football before the goal finally came from defender Siyabonga Sangweni in extra-time.
But Leal says striker Bongani Ndulula can only benefit from playing alongside Benni McCarthy this season.
"We have 'Drogba' Ndulula, who scored some crucial goals last season, but he is still very new in the PSL.
"We also have the experienced Benni McCarthy and we will see how he responds to get to his peak fitness level, and we will take it from there."
Santos coach Boebie Solomons says his team did well, despite the loss, and is confident they will have a good season, given their performance on the day.
"We did fairly well and created some chances," he says. "It was not going to be easy against the treble champions but we did well and competed.
"We missed a lot of players through injuries and supensions but I am happy with the youngsters. We created chances and had some shots at goals.
"Even after the goal they scored we reacted positely and had some great shots. We are disappointed about losing but honestly we were not disgraced. We are improving on our attacking play and defensively we are still well organised."