Chippa United cruised to a 4-1 win over Baroka FC in an Absa Premiership clash at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Wednesday evening.
The Chilli Boys claimed the victory thanks to goals from Marc van Heerden, David Zulu, Mbulelo Wambi and Thembinkosi Lorch, moving to seven points from just three league matches and banishing the disappointment of missing out on the final of the MTN8.
Bakgaga, meanwhile, have four points from five league outings and have dropped down a place to 12th on the log thanks to the hit their goal difference has taken.
The first notable chance of the match went the way of Chippa in the 12th minute. Thembinkosi Lorch picked out Buyani Sali from a corner kick and the midfielder was able to direct an effort on target, though Baroka goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke made a comfortable save.
Seven minutes later Masuluke was called upon to make a much more impressive save, diving to palm away a shot direct from a free kick by Chippa left-back and set-piece specialist Marc Van Heerden.
Baroka had to wait until the 28th minute to have their first attempt at goal, with defender Mzwanele Mahashe glancing a header wide of the target after meeting Tshepiso Lietsisa’s delivery from a free kick.
With the match looking set to head to halftime with a blank scoreline, the Eastern Cape visitors broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute. Van Heerden had another shot direct from a free kick and this time he had the beating of Masuluke, making it 1-0 to Chippa United.
Ten minutes into the second half Baroka suffered a further blow when goalkeeper Masuluke was injured and the hosts were forced to replace him with Xolani Ngcobo.
The replacement goalkeeper was only on the field four minutes before he was beaten, with striker David Zulu doing well to control a pull-back from the right by-line before steering a volley into the back of the net to make it 2-0 to the visitors.
In the 64th minute it became 3-0 to the Chilli Boys, with Mbulelo Wambi easily scoring from close range after Ngcobo could only parry a shot from Andile Mbenyane into the danger zone of his six-yard area.
Bakgaga at least scored a consolation goal to take something away from the game, with Ndivhuwo Ravhulali netting a beautiful left-footed shot in the 79th minute, but Chippa were able to restore a three-goal advantage when Thembinkosi Lorch netted deep in injury time to make it 4-1.