Mamelodi Sundowns moved six points clear at the top of the DStv Premiership after coming from behind to defeat Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila 3-1 on Tuesday afternoon.
The Brazilians welcomed back Denis Onyango, Themba Zwane, Rivaldo Coetzee and Peter Shalulile following Friday’s goalless draw away to Al-Hilal in the CAF Champions League group stages.
Sundowns had a handball call in the area six minutes in on Lehlohonolo Nonyane turned away shortly before Gaston Sirino let rip with a low shot wide of the six-yard area.
However, it was Vhadau vhadamani that made the first breakthrough on 18 minutes as Thembisani Nevhulamba got on the end of a free-kick from Thabo Mnyamane to head beyond Onyango.
Sundowns should’ve gone level from a close-range attempt by Thapelo Morena later on, but Washington Arubi saved before Mnyamane brought the best out of Onyango at the other end.
Masandawana maintained pressure on the host and drew level in the final minute of the half after Coetzee headed home Sirino’s corner.
Tshakhuma should’ve fallen behind through a lob from Sirino ten minutes from the break, but Nonyane produced an acrobatic goal-line clearance.
Sundowns received a lifeline on 61 minutes after Nonyane brought down Themba Zwane in the area to give away a penalty, but Sirino directed the resultant spot-kick into the stands.
That missed chance was amended six minutes later when Sphelele Mkhulise sneaked in at the back-post to nod home a cross from Lyle Lakay.
Vhadau vhadamani targeted an equaliser a little before the last ten minutes through a free-kick from Mnyamane, but the attempt rattled the woodwork.
The tie was put to bed with seven minutes to go after Sibusiso Vilakazi charged in from the back-post to side-foot in Shalulile’s ball, as Masandawana extended their unbeaten run in the league to 19 matches.
Tshakuma: Arubi, Lukhubeni, Ndengane, Nonyane, Theron, Timm, Ndlondlo, Nevhulamba, Rakhale, Mnyamane, Madhanaga
Subs: Mhlongo, Malongoane, Ngema, Mabotja, Nkili, Rantie, Monde, Nedzamba, Manaka
Sundowns: D Onyango, De Reuck, Lebusa, Coetzee, Lakay, Morena, Mkhulise, Maboe, Sirino, Zwane, Shalulile
Subs: Goss, Modiba, B Onyango, Vilakazi, Mudau, Mkhuma, Kekana, Affonso, Maluleka