In an all-Southern Africa Confederation of African Football Champions League semifinal, Sundowns were shell-shocked when they conceded two goals within two minutes.
A header by Jackson Mwanza, followed by free-kick by Mwape Mwelwa which came off Mwanza to extend the home side’s lead.
Masandawana showed signs of coming back in the final 10 minutes when Mosimane introduced Anthony Laffor for defender Tebogo Langerman, switching to a three-men defensive line – which worked out for the Absa Premiership champions as Khama Billiat calmly slotted from a Laffor cross to give Sundowns the crucial away goal in the dying moments of the game.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane however showed his intentions to win the game as he named the usual suspects after he rested most of his key players in Masandawana’s previous two games. Mosimane’s counterpart, George Lwandamina’ side also came in full force, but had to do without influential striker Cletous Chama, who missed out on suspension.
The home side, who like Sundowns, have not lost a game in the group stages at home, stamped their authority as early as the first minute when Jesse Were fired a shot, which hit the back of his teammate Mwanza and when out of play. The dangerous Were received a through ball in the ninth minute, but Dennis Onyango did well to steal the ball from his feet.
Sundowns got their rhythm in the 15th minute as they broke through the midfield when Percy Tau, who was deployed in the playmaker role, played an eye of the needle through pass to Tiyani Mabunda, whose shot was saved by Jacob Banda.
In the 20th minute mark, Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana released one from his top shelve, but his effort was ballooned over the bar. Shortly after, Mwanza released Mwelwa, but the Onyango was quick out of his line to clear the danger. Keagan Dolly, who has been relatively silent in the first 30 minutes, struck a shot from rage, but the 23-year-old’s strike was way off the target.
Sundowns were shown four yellow cards, the first given to Siyanda Zwane after the 31-year-old elbowed Mwanza during an aerial battle between the duo.
In the North African semifinal, Egyptian side Zamalek edged one step closer to the final when they thrashed Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca 4-0 at the Borg El Arab Stadium.