New signing Luis Lopes made a solid debut as the goals rained in for Aberdeen in their 5-o win over Stirling Albion.
Introduced at half-time, former Benfica striker Lopes was only denied a debut goal by the crossbar and two saves by the keeper.
Aberdeen were already 5-0 up at half-time courtesy of a Vicente Besuijen double and goals from Christian Ramirez, Matty Kennedy and Ross McCrorie.
However, they could not add to that tally after the break, despite the introduction of new signing Lopes.
Boss Jim Goodwin had confirmed the 22-year-old arrived at Pittodrie short of full match-sharpness.
That is because Portuguese giants Benfica had not started their pre-season when Lopes, also known as Duk, signed on a three-year deal for the Dons.
Secured for a six-figure sum, Lopes showed enough flashes to suggest when that fitness and sharpness comes so will the goals.
Lopes cleared to make his debut when the Visa application process was completed on the eve of the Stirling Albion clash.
The highly-rated Cape Verde international replaced Ramirez at half-time and led the attack.
Although he primarily played central, it is clear Lopes can also play coming in from the right and left.
Lopes gives boss Goodwin more options up front.
Bolstering the attack was a fundamental priority of the summer transfer window.
Last season Aberdeen were too reliant on United States international Ramirez, who netted against Stirling for his third goal of the season.
The need to bolster the attack was highlighted by the succession of spurned opportunities against Peterhead and Dumbarton.
Aberdeen won both Group A ties 2-0, but the margin of victory would have been more emphatic if clear chances had been converted.
Goodwin’s rebuilt side finally found their clinical attacking edge against League Two part-timers Stirling in going nap before the interval.
As the goals flew in at Forthbank, Aberdeen fans knew they were set to see a second striker make a debut this week.
North Macedonian international Bojan Miovski’s Visa application process is expected to be completed within days.
Aberdeen are confident Miovski will be clear to make his long-awaited bow against Raith Rovers at Pittodrie on Sunday.
A £535,000 signing from MTK Budapest, Miovski has had to wait almost a month for his Visa to be processed.
Scorching in Stirling
As Britain sweltered with record-breaking temperatures, the game kicked-off at 7.45pm with the mercury tipping 23 degrees.
And Aberdeen were red hot in attack in the opening 45 minutes.
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) July 19, 2022
It is testament to the respect manager Jim Goodwin is showing group games against lower league opposition that he named an unchanged starting XI.
The Premier Sports Cup offers an early opportunity to lift silverware in his first full season in charge, with a squad he has now built.
Goodwin is determined to make a winning impact to secure progression and he showed there will be no experiments with line-ups.
Tuesday’s win means Aberdeen have all-but-secured top spot in the group.
They are three points ahead of second-placed Raith Rovers, who they face at Pittodrie on Sunday, and also hold a superior goal difference.
Besuijen starts first half goal flurry
Aberdeen went ahead in the 10th minute when referee Craig Napier waved play on when McCrorie was fouled 25 yards out.
Dutch play-maker Besuijen collected the loose ball and burst into the penalty area.
Besuijen then fired a superb, low 12-yard drive beyond keeper Blair Currie at the near post from a tight angle.
In the 22nd minute, Dale Carrick beat Aberdeen keeper Kelle Roos at the near post with a six-yard hooked shot.
However, Jonny Hayes was well placed to clear off the goal line.
Soon after it was 2-0 courtesy of a slick, one-touch passing move in the 24th minute.
Centre-back Liam Scales found Hayes with a pass upfield and he crossed into the box for Ramirez to fire home from 12 yards for his third goal of the season.
It was 3-0 in the 31st minute when Kennedy curled a sublime 25-yard free-kick beyond the defensive wall and wide of keeper Currie.
Two quick fire goals from Aberdeen
Aberdeen were running riot and made it 4-0 in the 41st minute when Hayes unselfishly squared the ball to McCrorie to fire in from 12 yards.
Within a minute, Besuijen drilled a vicious 15-yard strike into the roof of the net for number five.
Half-time: Stirling Albion 0 – Aberdeen 5
In the 57th minute, Besuijen was denied a hat-trick when his 12-yard shot rattled off the post.
Lopes was then denied a debut goal in the 67th minute by keeper Currie and the woodwork.
The new signing spun six yards out and unleashed a shot which was blocked by the keeper.
Lopes pounced quickly on the rebound, but his effort clipped the top of the crossbar.
Moments later, Lopes burst in on goal, but keeper Currie did well to cut down the angle and block the 15 yard shot.
In the 83rd minute, Lopes showed great skill to burst beyond Cameron Clark only to be brought down at the edge of the box.
ABERDEEN (4-2-3-1): Roos 6, Hancock 6 (Milne 63) , Scales 7, Stewart 7, Richardson 7, McCrorie 7, Ramadani 7, Hayes 7 (Duncan 63), Besuijen 7 (Watkins 63), Kennedy 7 (Polvara 63), Ramirez 6 (Lopes 46).
Subs: Lewis, McLennan, Bates, Ngwenya, Harvey.
STIRLING ALBION (4-4-2): Currie 5, Clark 5, McLean 5, McGeachie 5, Denholm 5, Banner 6, Dunsmore 5, Moore 6, Thomson 5, Carrick 5 (Leitch 58).
Subs: Law, Wyles, Burns, Greenhorn, Cooper, Harrower, Curtis, Lamont.
Referee: C. Napier
Man of the Match: Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen)