South Africa returned to winning ways in style as they thumped Seychelles 6-0 in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification Group E game at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The victory took Bafana Bafana to the top of the group standings, while the Pirates remained fourth on the table.
Bafana Bafana were looking to return to winning ways in their qualifying campaign having drawn 0-0 with Libya at home last month.
On the other hand, the Pirates were hoping to snap their winless run having lost 3-0 to Nigeria at home in their previous Group E game.
However, Bafana dominated the game from the start and they managed to break the deadlock 22 minutes into the encounter.
Seychelles defender Hoareau Nigel turned the ball into his own net to make it 1-0 to South Africa as the hosts’ pressure paid off.
Stuart Baxter’s side then doubled its lead three minutes later after the Pirates had failed to defend a corner-kick.
South Africa captain Thulani Hlatshwayo capitalised on some poor marking as he headed home to make it 2-0 to the home side.
Bafana were running rampant as Lebogang Mothiba grabbed a goal to make it 3-0 to South Africa in the 26th minute.
The France-based striker, who is on the books of RC Strasbourg, scored on his competitive debut for the senior national team.
The Pirates’ defence, which was led by Nigel, were able to contain Bafana until South Sudanese referee Ring Nyier Akech Malong blew the half-time whistle.
The score was 3-0 to South Africa following a first half which was dominated by the hosts.
Bafana continued their dominance after the restart with Percy Tau working hard upfront as the forward looked to put his name on the score sheet.
The Belgium-based attacker had an opportunity to score in the 56th minute, but he placed his effort over the crossbar.
Seychelles shot-stopper Romeo Barra was the busier of the two goalkeepers as he made two great saves to deny Mothiba and Aubrey Modiba after the hour-mark.
However, Barra was beaten in the 74th minute when Mothiba combined with Tau, who then hit the back of the net to make it 4-0 to South Africa following a great move.
The momentum was with the hosts in the closing stages of the game as Dino Ndlovu scored with a composed finish to make it 5-0 with 10 minutes left on the clock.
South Africa’s 6-0 victory over an outclassed Seychelles side was sealed by Teboho Mokoena, who scored with a header in stoppage time.