The Brazilians eased past Seychelles outfit Cote d’Or on Saturday afternoon, scoring five away goals to no response in the first-leg of their First Round meeting.
In an unfamiliar midfield combination — as Pitso Mosimane rested most of his regular starters — former Orlando Pirates midfield extraordinaire pair of Andile Jali and Oupa Manyisa played together for the first time since they joined the Brazilians. However, it was defensive midfielder Tiyani Mabunda who stole the show at the heart of midfield as he marked his first start of the season with a brace.
The industrious Mabunda opened the scoring in the first five minutes before Lyle Lakay doubled up for the side just after the hour-mark. That Lakay goal seems to have dampened the hosts’ spirit as they began to look vulnerable at the back while Sundowns dominated play.
Lakay was in the thick of things again, this time around, assisting young Siphele Mkhulise to grab his maiden Sundowns goal in the 70th minute before defender Wayne Arendse had his say within four minutes to go before the man in the middle blew the final whistle.
Masandawana will take on d’Or in the second-leg later this month in the capital city. In the immediate, however, Sundowns will be playing arch-rivals SuperSport United in the return leg of the MTN8 semifinal this coming Wednesday. The Pretoria foes drew one-all in the first-leg where Matsatsantsa A Pitori were the home side.