PRETORIA: Sundowns leapfrogged Orlando Pirates into the second spot in the Absa Premiership after thrashing Black Leopards at Loftus Versfeld.
Kennedy Mweene made it back into the Mamelodi Sundowns line up as Denis Onyango missed out through injury, while Emiliano Tade was named on the bench despite scoring on debut in the CAF Champions League last Friday.
The Brazilians signaled their intent from the onset but they were unable to break the deadlock early on as the likes of Lebohang Maboe and Anthony Laffor squandered golden chances.
Leopards, meanwhile, gave Sundowns a few problems going forward, but they were a dealt a blow after a promising start when midfielder Bereng was forced off with an injury and replaced by Robert Ng’ambi at the midway point.
Poor finishing came to the fore once again after 35 minutes when a well-worked move ended with Laffor crossing for Maboe in the box, but the latter placed his effort over the crossbar from six-yards out.
Five minutes later, Sundowns eventually broke the deadlock as Gaston Sirino latched onto Hlompho Kekana’s long ball before picking out Maboe, who volleyed home from six-yards out.
Any hopes of a Leopards comeback was silenced eight minutes after the restart when Khomotso Masia deflected Maboe’s cross into his own net to double Sundowns’ lead.
Despite going two goals down, Leopards remained adventurous in their approach as Pentjie Zulu carved out a couple chances from the left flank, which prompted Mosimane to throw on Anele Ngcongca for Laffor.
The Brazilians certainly took their foot off the pedal as the half winded down, but they were awarded a penalty when Zulu was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.
Ricardo Nascimento took responsibility and made no mistake from 12-yards out for his third goal of the campaign a Sundowns’ third on the night in the latter stages.
Mosimane’s troops managed to see out the closing stages with relative ease to claim three points, which sees them move up to second spot, three points behind league leaders Bidvest Wits.