The Brazilians would have toppled Kaizer Chiefs at the summit of the Premiership table had they won by three clear goals, but in failing to do so Downs are now in joint top spot with Amakhosi, trailing them on goal difference. Chiefs do have two games in hand.
AmaTuks have never been a cause of grave concern for Pitso Mosimane’s men, but their determination to end their winless streak against their neighbours was nothing short of praise.
Thabo Mosadi was gifted with an opportune strike in the 19th minute to beat Downs keeper Kennedy Mweene, but his effort managed only to brush the outside of the net.
The students proved dominant in the first few minutes of the opening half of the Tshwane derby, but it was a number of missed opportunities that kept coach Steve Barker hip-hopping from his seat in the dugout.
The Brazilians were never going to lie dormant and allow themselves to be bullied in their own backyard, not even by their neighbours.
Seasoned striker Surprise Moriri pulled a scorcher from the centre-line that forced Washington Arubi to flip the ball over the goal post, an effort that proved to be Moriri’s best shot of the match.
Tuks went unbeaten in their five previous encounters and perhaps the confidence displayed had its origins there.
But on the stroke of halftime Downs drew first blood when Anthony Laffor headed in a cross from Hlompho Kekana to put the hosts in the driving seat.
Atusaye Nyondo pulled one back for the visitors to level matters in the 63rd minute, but just three minutes later Sundowns were at it again.
Lebogang Mokoena repaid Mosimane’s faith in him when he headed home a cross from Bongani Zungu. His third in three games.
Meanwhile, Bloemfontein Celtic shared the spoils with AmaZulu with the game ending in a stalemate yesterday.