The signs looked good for Sundowns early on as they dominated possession, leaving Santos to feed off only minimal scraps of possession. But the problem for the Brazilians was that they were not able to penetrate the defence around the box and could only create a couple of half-chances.
Santos used the counter-attacking game to perfection in their midweek 2-0 win over Ajax, and did it again tonight as they opened the scoring against the run of play in the 28th minute, just moments after Erwin Isaacs had wasted a chance when he scooped the ball over the net with only Brian Baloyi to beat.
The goal saw Eleazar Rodgers flying down the right flank before picking out Bongi Macala inside the box. Macala shot straight at Baloyi, who was not able to pouch the shot, enabling Tyren Arendse to net from close range.
Mabuthi Khenyeza tried to level matters five minutes later with an intelligent volley, but his effort was saved.
It took Sundowns a while to get going in the second half, having to wait until the 70th minute before creating a decent chance, which saw Pattison’s shot from a tight angle well saved by Tshepo Motsoeneng.
In the end it was the former SuperSport United keeper who proved to be the difference between the two sides as he made two further outstanding saves from Khenyeza and Esrom Nyandoro as Downs upped the tempo in the final 15 minutes.
Khenyeza again underlined his volatile nature when he was red-carded in the 90th minute for trying to kick the ball out of Motsoeneng’s hands and following through into the keeper himself.