Cape Town - Bradley Grobler bagged a brace as SuperSport United recorded an impressive 3-0 victory over Orlando Pirates at Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The experienced forward opened his account in the 35th minute before adding a second early in the second half, with Zambian Ghampani Lungu firing home in the 69th minute to put the result beyond doubt.
The visitors made a flying start to the game and lodged their first shot on target inside the opening two minutes, Gabadinho Mhango cutting inside from out wide on the left before seeing his shot saved by Ronwen Williams in the SuperSport United goal.
SuperSport were quick to respond, creating two chances in the minutes that followed, but Kudakwashe Mahachi and Teboho Mokoena both failed to find the mark for the hosts.
And Pirates were forced to defend under some serious pressure as SuperSport continued to pile forward. Sipho Mbule failed to hit the target in the 14th minute, before Onismor Bhasera forced Bucs keeper Wayne Sandilands into making a save three minutes later.
Pirates had a great chance to break the deadlock in the 25th minute, but Premiership debutant Fortune Makaringe was unable to find a way past Williams as his headed effort was snapped up the keeper.
The visitors were made to rue that missed opportunity as SuperSport again cranked up the pressure, giving Pirates a few scares before claiming the lead in the 34th minute. Pirates' defence was caught napping as a back-pass was played towards Sandilands, only for Grobler to nip in and poke the ball past the onrushing Bucs gloveman.
Pirates had one last chance to open their account in first-half injury time, but Grant Kekana came to the home side's rescue as he made a last-ditch block to deny what looked to be a certain goal for Innocent Maela.
Unfortunately for the Buccaneers their situation did not improve after the half-time break as Matsatsantsa went on to bag a second goal in the 54th minute, Grobler pouncing again to smash home on the half volley after the visitors failed to clear their lines.
And it went from bad to worse for the Soweto giants as substitute Lungu made it three for the hosts on 69 minutes after getting the batter of Sandilands in a one-on-one situation, Grobler providing the all-important assist.
SuperSport brought on Thamsanqa Gabuza for Evans Rusike a few minutes later, and the former Bucs striker had an immediate impact, forcing a save from Sandilands following a header at the back post, before seeing a goal chalked off for offside.
Pirates, meanwhile, were unable to pull one back in the remaining minutes, with substitute Justin Shonga going closest to opening their account in injury time when he headed over from James Monyane's inviting cross.