Mamelodi Sundowns thrashed Orlando Pirates 4-1 to move 18 points clear at the top of the DStv Premiership standings on Friday evening.
There were no less than three changes from Pirates as Ntsako Makhubela, Goodman Mosele and Ben Motshwari returned to the midfield, while Masandawana had just a single switch in defender Ricardo Nascimento.
The runaway league leaders looked to settle first after a ball in from the left-side by Lyle Lakay saw Thapelo Morena side-foot over target from the back-post of the area.
However, the Buccaneers responded to the threat moments apart when Deon Hotto flashed a left-footed strike from the near side wide after stepping into a pass from Thembinkosi Lorch.
Sundowns still worked chances inside the latter stages of the first half as Peter Shalulile watched a toe-poke from a goal-mouth scramble go narrowly wide following a corner-kick.
The Brazilians were dealt a set-back a minute before halftime when Grant Kekana pulled up with a knee injury, with the Sundowns coaching staff opting for the introduction of Pavol Safranko.
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Masandawana though got rewarded for their first-half dominance when Shalulile pulled a free-kick from Lakay across goal which Themba Zwane attacked to slot in from close-range.
Pirates‘ hopes of a comeback experienced more woes with 61 minutes played after Safranko leaped in the area to head home Lakay’s pin-point corner.
Safranko snatched a brace inside the last 20 minutes when he slotted in a loose ball in the area with the Buccaneers left for dead in defence.
The Buccaneers were cut to pieces again this as another sharp delivery 73 minutes in from Lakay met Shalulile, who headed into the top corner from an unmarked position at the far post.
Pirates found a consolation in the dying minutes when Fortune Makaringe curled a loose ball from the edge of the area into the top corner, but it proved little as the night belonged to Masandawana.
Sundowns: D.Onyango, De Reuck, Coetzee, Nascimento, Kekana, Lakay, Jali, Morena, Mkhulise, Zwane, Shalulile.
Subs: Mweene, Mvala, Ngobeni, B.Onyango, Maluleka, Modiba, Kapinga, Safranko, Vilakazi
Pirates: Mpontshane, Nyauza, Ndah, Shandu, Mako, Motshwari, Mosele, Makhubela, Lorch, Hotto, Peprah,
Subs: Sandilands, Mabaso, Mngonyama, Maela, Sam, Dlamini, Makaringe, Mabasa, Mhango.