Katlego Mphela continued his fine form with a 35th-minute opener, but Amakhosi hit back through Josta Dladla’s penalty just before the break.
Inside the opening two minutes Chiefs were on the back foot, with Itumeleng Khune coming to the rescue twice early on. First he made an acrobatic save to deny Luvengo Mungomeni, before keeping out Mabhuti Khenyeza’s header from debutant Franklin Cale’s corner-kick.
Khune then denied Mphela, saving with his legs in a one-on-one situation, before the Sundowns striker headed just wide of goal on 20 minutes.
Chiefs were having difficulty dealing with the continuous attacks, with Mungomeni’s shot shaving the outside of the upright, before the opener eventually arrived.
Tlou Molekwane’s backpass to Khune was woefully short, allowing the striker to get past the keeper and slot into an empty net.
However, despite the one-sided nature of the game, Chiefs went into the break on level terms after Mungomeni was adjudged to have handled Reneilwe Letsholonyane’s shot. Dladla converted from the spot.
Sundowns continued their dominance after the break, with Khenyeza missing another great chance just before the hour-mark, before they got the winner their play deserved on 78 minutes.
Pelembe’s free-kick from the left was flicked on by Khenyeza, but Khune managed to blocked the ball. However, Xulu was on hand to bundle the ball over the line for three crucial points.
The last piece of action came in second half stoppage-time as Khune got down well to save Surprise Moriri’s free-kick.