Brazilians fight off Amabhubesi

Alje Schut and Teko Modise found the back of the net in a deserved win for Pitso Mosimane's troops.

Sundowns follow fellow Absa Premiership heavyweights Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs into the round of 16.

It was all 'Downs in the early exchanges with the current Absa Premiership champions eager to find the back of the net in an attempt to get rid of any early jitters.  

Kudakwashe Mahachi and Schut provided an early scare for the visitors with the Brazilians captain causing Thanda all sorts of problems from set-pieces.

Amabhubesi though were going to have their chances and almost grabbed the lead in the 23rd minute.

A long-ball forward found Sandile Mazibuko who set up NFD top scorer Phumelele Bhengu for the turn and shot, but his effort lacked power as Denis Onyango made an easy save.

Bhengu continued to trouble a new-look 'Downs back four which included Siyanda Zwane at right-back and Ramahlwe Mphahlele at centre-back. The former Chippa United man though was unable to turn his menacing runs into goals.

Despite the attacking promise showed by either side in the first half, neither could find the back of the net before the break as the opening stanza came to a fiery finish.

The Brazilians found the opener through Schut seven minutes after the break, the Dutch defender with a thunderous header at the back post to fire the home side into the lead.

'Downs had a chance to double their lead in the 75th minute after Siyanda Zwane was fouled inside the penalty area. Modise stepped up and made no mistake to net his seventh goal of the season.

The hosts saw out the rest of the game with relative ease as they booked their place in the next round.

Sundowns XI: Onyango, Mashaba, Mphahlele, Schut, S Zwane, Zungu, Modise,Laffor (Kekana 44'), Mahachi (T Zwane 70'), Billiat, Malajila (Moriri 78')

Thanda XI: Mbambo, Ncobeni, Sekete, Zitha, Thopola, Bhengu, Nene, Ntuli (Mncube 45+1'), Maela, Mazibuko (Dlamini 72'), Hlophe (Smith 85')