Santos shocked defending champions Orlando Pirates with a 3-0 Absa Premiership win at Athlone on Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Cape side scored inside two minutes through Erwin Isaacs before a second half brace from Eleazar Rodgers made it a memorable night for the team hovering just above the foot of the table at kick-off.
Santos were onto the attack immediately and within the first minute Matthew Pattison sounded a warning as he blazed a shot wide.
Worse was to come, though, from Pirates’ point of view as Santos took a second minute lead after Isaacs beat the off-side trap before getting the better of Moeneeb Josephs and then slotting home from 12-yards out.
The pace early on was relentless with a result that the Sea Robbers struggled to settle into their passing game.
The visitor’s first chance came in the 10th minute, but when Dikgang Mabalane’s cross reached Daine Klate at the far post, the volley was tamely struck.
Soon after Isaac Chansa tried from range, but his shot flashed well wide.
Slowly but surely the Soweto side began to enjoy more possession, but still found it difficult to create space and opportunity in the final third.
Home keeper Pa Demba Touray was, however, having a solid game and made comfortable stops from Benni McCarthy and Mabalane towards the end of the half.
At the other end of the field, the Cape side did not really look like scoring again– there was a chance for Rodgers five minutes before the break, but his header from a corner lacked power.
The hosts were always going to be a threat on the counter-attack after the break as the Buccaneers searched out an equaliser.
This nearly happened just two minutes after the restart, but Josephs did well to get down and save from Rodgers’ shot across his body.
For the most part though it was Pirates who continued to push and probe, huff and puff, but with little reward.
On 63 minutes their task was doubled in difficulty as Rodgers scored Santos’ second, getting a clever touch on to Pattison’s angled free-kick.
The Sea Robbers continued to be frustrated in attack. And likewise punished in defence.
It was 3-0 after 72 minutes as Rodgers broke clear, showing a cool head as an out-numbered defence opened up like the Red Sea, before slamming home from 14-yards.
There were more chances for Duncan Crowie’s charges, but Ricardo Skippers and then Vuyisile Wana were unable to make it four.
Pirates tried, but without much success to mount a come-back and Santos were able to comfortably play out the game, which had seven added minutes.