Togo-Port had not won a game before meeting the 2016 champions, but they put up a dogged performance to register a 1-0 victory, thanks to a first-half goal from Ayi Hulende.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane included Andile Jali in his starting line-up for the first time, and partnered him in midfield with captain Hlompho Kekana and Oupa Manyisa. Anele Ngcongca started at right-back as Thapelo Morena was pushed further up the pitch on the wing, while Sibusiso Vilakazi was used in a false nine position in the absence of Percy Tau, who is set for a move abroad.
The hosts had four shots at goal in the first period, two of which were on target, while Sundowns only had three shots at goal, one which was on target. Despite dominating possession, Sundowns were not much of a threat in the final third of the field.
Manyisa had a good chance to give Sundowns the lead before the half-hour mark when Kekana played him through, but his shot was saved by Togo-Port goalkeeper Jean-Robert Klomegan.
Tebogo Langerman also tried his luck with an effort but it went wide of goal. Five minutes from the break, Hunlede gave the hosts the lead with a cool finish to beat Denis Onyango.
Sundowns brought Thokozani Sekotlong on at the start of the second half for Kekana and the forward forced a save from Klomegan within a minute of being on the pitch. Two minutes later, Jali tried his luck from range but he was denied. Vilakazi is another one who was foiled in the final 20 minutes of the game.
Aubrey Ngoma was brought on in the final 15 minutes of the contest for Themba Zwane, but he could not inspire a comeback for the visitors.
Sundowns XI: Onyango, Ngcongca, Arendse, Nascimento, Langerman, Morena, Kekana, Manyisa, Jali, Zwane, Vilakazi.
Subs: Brimah, Brockie, Sekotlong, Madisha, Zulu, Ngoma, Laffor