South China knew they had the season's best buy when they signed 28-year-old Martin Jancula after lengthy and intense negotiations earlier this month. And the Slovakian repaid the faith shown in him by bagging a hat-trick as the Caroliners beat J-League giants Shimizu S-Pulse 3-2 in an electric atmosphere at Hong Kong Stadium last night. Jancula, the FA Cup hero last season for now-defunct Instant-Dict, scored his first goals for South China as he sent a crowd of 10,343 spectators into raptures with a fine display that will put the Caroliners in good stead for the return leg of the Asian Cup-Winners' Cup tie in Shimizu on December 19. South China team manager Peter Leung Shou-chi was overjoyed but not surprised by Jancula's goals that shocked the 1999 Asian Cup Winners' Cup champions. 'We always knew how good Martin [Jancula] was. There was no question he's a good player and I think he has shown it again before a big crowd. He had a great game,' said Leung. Jancula, who was signed from Slovan Bratislava, struck in the ninth, 54th and 59th minutes to bring back the 'good old days' to the Caroliners who had been struggling to woo back the crowds after last season's record low turn-outs. S-Pulse's Brazilian striker Marcelo Polanczyk scored for the visitors in the 39th minute and Kohei Hiramatsu added what could be a crucial second away goal in injury time. S-Pulse need only a 1-0 win at home to go through to the next round, but South China defender Cristiano Cordeiro believes the Caroliners are capable of completing victory in little more than a fortnight's time. 'The whole team played so well today, it was unbelievable. We put in 110 per cent effort and we have just beaten one of the best teams in Asia. We're very happy, but we are very tired because it took a lot out of us. If we had won the match 3-1, we would have stood a good chance of going through to the next round, but I am not complaining. We all did a fantastic job,' said the Brazilian defender. 'We really wanted to win and I think it showed on the pitch. It was a very difficult match.' Jancula put the Caroliners ahead when he was quickest to react to Au Wai-lun's looping header and flicked the ball past the outcoming keeper. After Polanczyk put his team on level terms when he headed home powerfully, Jancula went back to work, scoring with a superb 30-metre freekick that was struck low through the wall. Before the Japanese visitors could recover from that setback, they conceded another just five minutes later when Jancula struck again with perhaps the best goal of the night. Defender Yau Kin-wai met a right-wing cross with his head, Ricky Cheng Siu-chung glanced it on and the ball sat up invitingly for Jancula who rifled home from about 15 yards out. South China goalkeeper Chan Ka-ki also contributed to the victory, pulling off a series of fine saves, although Shimizu were unlucky when Daisuke Ichikawa's effort hit the crossbar in the 66th minute. Chan kept out Takayuki Yokoyama's shot with his legs 10 minutes from time, but he couldn't prevent Hiramatsu's injury-time effort when the centre-back bundled the ball over the line from close range after it was headed down by Polanczyk.