|Percy Tau, Anthony Laffor © Gallo Images
Mamelodi Sundowns made it four Absa Premiership wins on the spin, beating Highlands Park 4-0 Loftus Stadium on Sunday afternoon to further close the gap on those above them on the log standings.
Percy Tau, Anthony Laffor, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Themba Zwane scored in the first-half before a Rudi Isaacs own goal further underlined Highlands' recent woes. The Lions of the North haven't won in the league since the opening day of the season.
Tau was particularly impressive with the 'Downs attacker scoring and setting up a further three goals in a man-of-the-match display. Despite the convincing win, Sundowns remain in eighth spot as they continue to play catch-up.
Lindokuhle Mbatha started for the Lions of the North as he aimed to make an impression against his former employers. The speedy winger winning an early free-kick after turning Hlompho Kekana inside-out; the resulting free-kick straight at Denis Onyango.
Sundowns, though, quickly turned on the style with Tau giving the hosts the lead in the seventh minute.
Having dispossessed Augustine Mbara in midfield, the diminutive winger charged at goal and with no Highlands' player closing him down, the Brazilians forward fired his resulting shot into the back of the net.
Laffor made it 2-0 in the 13th minute. Thapelo Morena burst past Franklin Cale on the right flank before cutting the ball back to the Liberian winger who made no mistake from close range.
Sundowns continued to pile on the pressure ,and after Kekana saw his shot saved by Tapuwa Kapini, Vilakazi made it 3-0 with Tau setting up the former Bidvest Wits skipper in the 35th minute.
The Tshwane giants were turning on the style and added a fourth two minutes later - Tau again the provider as Themba Zwane curled the ball past a helpless Kapini in the Highlands goal.
Sundowns could've inflicted further damage on their visitors before the break with Laffor and Vilakazi squandering gilt-edged chances. Gordon Igesund left rooted to his seat as he watched on in disbelief, 4-0 at the break.
The hosts continued from where their left off after the interval - Tau causing the Highlands defenders all sorts of problems.
Having returned to the club from Witbank Spurs at the end of last season, the 22-year-old has looked a different player and he was again at the root of everything as Rudi Isaacs turned the ball into the back of his own net on 53 minutes.
Sundowns completely bossed proceedings with Highlands in danger of conceding double-digits on the day. Laffor, Tau, Morena, Zwane and Kekana all missing chances to add to the score-line.
Highlands showed some promise in the dying exchanges of the clash, but Denis Onyango stood firm as the hosts now switch focus to Ajax Cape Town. The defending champions take on the Urban Warriors in the Mother City on Wednesday.
Mamelodi Sundowns (4) 5 (Tau 7' Laffor 13' Vilakazi 35' T.Zwane 37' Isaacs OG 53'
Highlands Park (0) 0
Sundowns: Onyango; Langerman (Mashaba 41'), Nascimento (Nthethe 52'), Arendse, Morena - Mabunda, Kekana - Vilakazi (Mbekile 65'), T.Zwane, Laffor, Tau
Highlands: Kapini; Mbara, Isaacs, Ngalo, Cale - Khuboni (Koena 80'), Mvala, Mbatha, Theron (Ledwaba 30') - Sitayitayi, Mbesuma (Moriri 55').