Stars took the lead in the 54th minute from an unexpected Paulus Masehe shot and Zothwane, who replaced Matthew Pattison in the 74th, scored two minutes later to give the hosts a valuable point.
Sundowns dominated the match and could have scored at least three goals in the first half alone if it was not for wild shooting, timely interceptions or terrific saves from Stars goalie Kennedy Mweene.
The Bethlehem side was pinned in their half and hardly threatened veteran keeper Brain Baloyi whose defence was as energetic as the forwards. Strikers Mabhuti Khenyeza and Katlego Mphela tormented the Stars defence with their speed and tireless running off the ball.
Stars seemed more confident going forward in the second half although Sundowns still had more ball possession and looked more threatening. But 10 minutes after the break Masehe broke down the right and his cross-cum-shot slipped through the fingers of Baloyi.
The shock lead further spurred the Brazilians on but still Mweene and his defence held their own. Mphela and Khenyeza gave it their all upfront but were left frustrated attack after attack.
On the other end Stars could have doubled their lead but substitute Tebelo Mofokeng headed Ruben Cloete’s cross over with the goal exposed.
Zothwane replaced Pattison with less than 20 minutes on the clock, and after two minutes on the field the playmaker equalized. The Sundowns 10 played a quick one-two with Mphela and then calmly slotted the ball past Mweene.
Sundowns created numerous scoring chances on the night but failed to convert them in what could have been a massive win.