Second-half goals from Hlompho Kekana and Modjeka Madisha were enough to take the Brazilians one point clear at the summit, with a game in hand over second to boot, while Arrows opened the door for Orlando Pirates to climb into the top eight this weekend.
The opening 10 minutes proved a lively affair, with Percy Tau dragging his shot just inches wide while, at the other, it took a brilliant instinctive save from Denis Onyango to get down low and keep out Kudakwashe Mahachi from close range.
Kekana looked to work something after being afforded space some 20 yards from goal, but Nkosingiphile Gumede was able to scramble across goal to make the save, gathering the ball at the second attempt.
Sundowns then had a great chance to take the lead just before the half-hour mark as Gumede’s initial save inside the box fell kindly for Khama Billiat, whose shot was on target but Trevor Mathian was there on the line to head clear.
Themba Zwane thought he should have been awarded a penalty with eight minutes of the first-half remaining after going down under a sliding challenge, but the referee saw nothing untoward and waved away the appeals.
Arrows created the first chance after the break as Wayde Jooste played a brilliantly weighted ball to put Lerato Lamola clean through on goal, only for him to fire agonisingly wide at the near post.
Onyango once again showed his brilliance to keep the score goalless shortly before the hour-mark after again denying Mahachi after the forward was once more played in behind the Sundowns defence.
Downs would go on to make the most of their goalkeeper’s heroics as they opened the scoring with 59 minutes gone, a brilliant piece of passing rounded off by an even better first-time finish from Kekana, who curled the ball with the outside of his boot around the keeper and into the back of the net.
The Brazilians didn’t take their foot off the gas and got their second with 20 minutes remaining, Teko Modise’s whipped corner finding Madisha, who had peeled away from his marker before heading past the keeper.