It was a game which the Brazilians dominated, but it looked as if the Cape side may have burgled a win with a goal in the 72nd minute.
The match saw Santos pair Tyren Arendse and Craig Bianchi come up against their former employers, while Sundowns midfielder Thando Mngomeni was also facing his old club.
It didn’t take much tactical awareness of the game to figure out the Cape side’s strategy – clearly they were intent to sit back and defend and look to use long-balls to pick out lone striker Eleazar Rodgers.
Mogogi Gabonamong was given the task of sticking closely to Downs dangerman Surprise Moriri; a job he did well in the first half.
The Botswana international was ably assisted by his teammates, who all showed good discipline and commitment to keep Sundowns from creating many chances, despite the fact that the Pretoria side totally dominated possession.
The home side did come close to scoring in the 14th minute when Diyo Sibisi hit the bar with a header.
Sibisi then looped another header over the bar, while Derrick Spencer burst into the box in the 28th minute, but pulled a left-footed shot wide.
Eight minutes later Spencer again burst down the left before squaring to Moriri, whose scuffed shot was saved by Santos keeper Francis Chansa.
Just before the break Chansa was again called into action when he pulled off a good diving save from Mngomeni’s free-kick.
The pattern of the game continued in the same manner as in the first half after the restart and things got worse for the People’s Team when they lost Wayne Arendse to a second bookable offence in the 48th minute.
Still they managed to keep Sundowns at bay, and then went on to take a shock 72nd minute lead through Rodgers.
The goal came via a quickly worked free-kick routine and saw the ball going through the Sundowns defensive wall and in off Marlin’s near-post.
However, their lead was short-lived – within 30 seconds Sundowns drew level as Santos failed to clear their box properly and Sibusiso Zuma was on hand to fire home a low volley.
Moriri then popped up in the 91st minute to score the winner from eight yards out following a good cross by James Mayinga, who had been set free with a clever ball by Spencer.