Orlando Pirates thumped Polokwane City 4-1 to regain fifth spot in the Absa Premiership at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Thembinkosi Lorch made a welcome return along with Luvuyo Memela as Josef Zinnabauer made only two changes from the 1-1 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic.
Gabadinho Mhango gave the Buccaneers a perfect start after four minutes when he peeled off the left side, turned into area and nestled the top corner beyond George Chigova.
The former Bidvest Wits man had a second on 14 minutes when he raced onto a looping ball over the defence to lob Chigova from close-range amidst pressure from Simphiwe Hlongwane.
Mhango completed his hat-trick ten minutes to halftime after getting onto the end of Abel Mabaso’s low cross from the right to tap home at the far post.
City had a chance to reduce the deficit on 38 minutes, but Mohammed Anas fired the spot-kick off the crossbar after Ntsikelelo Nyauza was flagged for handling Puleng Tlolane’s cutback.
Polokwane's misery worsened with the last kick of the half as Ben Motshwari ran onto a loose ball from a quick free-kick to slot past Chigova.
In an attempt to stop the rot, Clinton Larsen introduced veteran Jabulani Maluleke who returned from suspension in place of debutant Nkululeko Tshangase.
This idea paid off 63 minutes in as Anas atoned for his penalty miss when he slided home a cross-field ball from the left by Salulani Phiri.
Zinnbauer turned attention to the substitute’s bench and removed Fortune Makaringe in favour of Linda Mntambo with 75 minutes gone.
Chances came up at either end late on, but Chigova and Wayne Sandilands reacted with strong saves as the Soweto giants reclaimed fifth spot with a resounding win.
Polokwane: Chigova, Mvelase, Hlongwane, Nthatheni, Tshangane, Manaka, Booi, Phiri, Anas, Tlolane, Hlubi.
Subs: Phali, Maluleke, Mashumba, Nene, Mngomezulu, Maluleke, Buthelezi.
Pirates: Sandilands, Maela, Jele, Nyauza, Pule, Motshwari, Makaringe, Mabaso, Memela, Mhango, Lorch.
Subs: Delle, Ndengane, Mntambo, Monyane, Mulenga, Shonga, Mabasa.