It was a poor match devoid of goal-mouth action, but was ultimately decided by Surprise Moriri’s poacher’s goal four minutes from time.
Siboniso Gaxa was convinced he had won an early penalty under the challenge of Timothy Batabaire, but referee Jonas Nhlapo waved play-on. Replays suggested Gaxa was right.
Jorge Acuna went close with a header that flashed wide of the near post, while Dillon Sheppard saw his low drive well saved by Shu-Aib Walters in the Celtic goal.
A massive downpour during the halftime break made the surface a slippery one as the players emerged for the second period and Sibusiso Zuma almost profited from a slip in the Celtic defence, but his shot was blocked.
Petrus Mahlatsi had a rare shot on goal on the hour-mark, Celtic’s first real effort of the game, but with men up in support, he perhaps took the wrong option as his fizzled effort from 25-yards went harmlessly wide.
Zuma had a magnificent chance to open the scoring five minutes later. Sheppard’s corner found him in acres of space, but his shot took a deflection over the bar.
But there was an amazing incident at the other end just minutes later. Solomon Mathe crossed an inch-perfect ball for Mahlatsi, who had lost his marker, but the Celtic striker’s headed effort was so wild went out for a throw-in. It was an incredible miss from a player who looks woefully short of match fitness.
Dario Monteiro, on as a substitute for Zuma, was put through on goal with 17 minutes left to play, but he scuffed his shot wide of the far post under pressure from the Celtic defence.
Sundowns finally did find the back of the net through Moriri on 86 minutes. After Phelelani Mpangase’s shot was saved by Walters, Mbesuma had a follow-up shot that was also blocked, but Moriri was on hand to fire home the rebound.