It was never going to be an easy game for Pitso Mosimane’s Champions League winning Brazilians who only arrived back in South Africa on Wednesday morning after their excursion to Egypt.
But after a lacklustre first half at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, the home side’s class and quality came through in the second stanza two superbly-worked team goals which were rounded off by Hlompho Kekana and Themba Zwane.
Sundowns, who started the game with six of the players who featured in Sunday’s final, dominated possession during the first half. But for the most part it was pretty pedestrian stuff, the Brazilians unable to shift up the gears, while Rise and Shine seemed content to sit back and keep things tight at the back.
With his direct running, Sibusiso Vilakazi was probably Downs’ biggest threat, but apart from two half-hearted penalty appeals, there was little for the Polokwane defence to worry about.
There was finally a noteworthy save to witness when Kennedy Mweene did well to dive across and tip Jabu Maluleke’s free kick round the post 10 minutes after the restart.
But it was at the other end of the field that the deadlock was broken, a beautiful move instigated by Percy Tau and Zwane ending with Kekana netting with a typically rasping drive from the edge of the box on 64 minutes.
The lead was doubled just six minutes later when Thapelo Morena’s low cross to the back post provided a simple tap-in for Zwane.
Polokwane failed to react to the setback and it was Masandawana who looked more likely to add a third rather than any thoughts of a comeback by the visitors in the final 20 minutes.
Sundowns join Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Cape Town City, SuperSport United, Free State Stars, Baroka FC and Highlands Park in the quarter-finals.
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