The first chance of the match fell to Celtic’s Thokozani Mshengu in the 14th minute, but the former Golden Arrows winger’s left-footed attempt was easily saved by Calvin Marlin.
Sundowns enjoyed most of the possession early on and it paid off in the 18th minute when Nyasha Mushekwi capitalised on Patrick Tignyemb’s poor clearance to tap in with his left from close range.
Sundowns’ Elias Pelembe was a thorn in Celtic’s side, but the opportunities for ‘The Brazilians’ were few and far between and it was only on the stroke of half-time that Sundowns threatened to score.
Pelembe expertly chipped the ball for Matthew Pattison in the box in the 44th minute, but Pattison’s shot from the penalty area was blocked for a corner by Patrick Tignyemb for a corner.
The score was 1-0 to Sundowns at the interval and soon after the break they went 2-0 ahead through a penalty by Mushekwi, who completed his brace.
Erick Mathoho was adjudged, rather softly, to have fouled Khenyeza when trying to kick the ball away and the Zimbabwean marksman stepped up to slot in.
Celtic made a double substitution on the hour mark when they brought in Danny Venter and Bennett Chenene for Mshengu and Clifford Mulenga and soon pulled one back when Innocent Mdledle handled in the box and referee Jerome Damon pointed to the spot.
Cecil Oerson scored from the spot-kick to give Celtic a lifeline.
Sundowns had the last laugh, though, when Mushekwi completed his hat-trick with a neat finish after an assist by Pattison with nine minutes of regulation left on the clock.