Soweto - Defending champions Orlando Pirates handed log leaders SuperSport United their first loss of the league season in Soweto on Saturday night to stamp their mark on the Premiership race.
The Buccaneers romped to a 3-0 win, showing their class in an otherwise topsy-turvy league campaign.
SuperSport coach Gavin Hunt would have hoped to celebrate his 500th match in charge of a Premier League club with a victory, but his table toppers were outplayed for much of the game.
Gunning for their fourth league title in five seasons, United experienced the first bump in their campaign.
They retained their place at the top of the standings midway through the weekend fixtures, but a handful of contenders are nipping at their heels with two rounds left before a lengthy two-month league break.
Both sides searched for the breakthrough early on, but neither had a shot on target until Mario Booysen gifted Pirates a chance when he handled the ball in the area in the 20th minute.
Veteran striker Benni McCarthy blasted a thunderous strike from the spot that sent Ronwen Williams the wrong way between the United posts.
The Buccaneers tightened their grip on proceedings 10 minutes later when Isaac Chansa sliced the ball into the back of the net with a clever close-range strike.
Three minutes after the break, Daine Klate, who had set up Chansa's goal, delivered a cross from the left, and Ndumiso Mabena charged in with a volley to stretch the lead.
United became visibly frustrated in the last half hour but Pirates managed to shut the visitors out, securing a convincing win.
The Buccaneers will take the momentum into the Telkom Knockout final against Wits in Durban next week as they go in search of their second trophy of the season.