Mamelodi Sundowns moved up to third spot in the Absa Premiership after overcoming a spirited Black Leopards side at the Thohoyandou Stadium.
Jose Ali Meza made his second league start in a row as Hlompho Kekana returned to captain the side after missing their merciless CAF Champions League triumph over Cote d’Or on Friday.
Sundowns asked the earlier questions through Gaston Sirino, Themba Zwane and Thapelo Morena, but the Leopards defence were on high alerted.
Lyle Lakay received the game’s early chance on 13 minutes when landing onto a loose ball into the area, but Jonas Mendes parried clear.
Masandawana eventually took the lead just over 10 minutes later when Morena combined with Meza, who picked out Zwane for a close-range finish at the near post.
Lidoda Duvha ventured into the visitors territory towards halftime, but were unable to get a look in as Motjeka Madisha assisted by Andile Jali pulled clear. However, Sundowns grabbed the second goal right on the stroke of halftime as Chris Katjiuka directed Sirino’s low cross into his own net whilst attempting to clear.
The Tshwane side made a change after the break, as Tshwarelo Bereng filled in for Donashano Malama.
Leopards remained on the back foot thereafter, as Lakay among others fired shots against the defensive wall from outside the area.
Mwape Musonda reduced the deficit 60 minutes in when he combined with Bereng to slot past Denis Onyango from close range as the defence went to sleep.
Meza’s evening ended after 73 minutes with Lebohang Maboe coming in as Pitso Mosimane looked to end the match as a contest.
Maboe had the chance to make the game save three minutes later, but he shot dismally wide from an inviting goal.
The miss didn’t matter though as Masandawana collected the points to remain the only unbeaten side in the league.
Leopards: Mendes, Mudau, Zulu, Katjiukua, Masia , Mokoena, Andrianarimanana, Phala, Musonda, Malama, Kapinga.
Subs: Muleka, Bereng, Abubakar, Ndou, Malajila, Hlongwane.
Sundowns: Onyango, Lakay, Ngcongca, Madisha, Lebusa. Jali, Kekana, Morena, Sirino, Zwane, Meza.
Subs: Mweene, Vilakazi, Arendse, Langerman, Maboe, Seabi. Affonso.