Mamelodi Sundowns were forced to dig deep with a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over Stellenbosch FC in their Absa Premiership match on Wednesday evening.
Coach Pitso was forced to ring the changes to his squad with fixture congestion and niggling injuries playing a part. Kennedy Mweene, Nicholus Lukhubeni, Rivaldo Coetzee, Tiyani Mabunda and Wayne Arendse all returned to the Starting XI.
Stellies had the games first real chance on the five minute mark as Waseem Isaacs sent Ryan Moon through on goal, the striker rushing his effort, missed the target.
The visitors eventually broke the deadlock with ten minutes remaining of the first half after Moon headed home a pin-point Marc van Heerden cross.
Coach Pitso Mosimane looking to get back into the game introduced Keletso Makgalwa for Ali Meza at the start of the second half.
The Brazilians piled on the pressure and it was Themba Zwane who managed to pull Downs back into the game. Mogamad De Goede brought down the elusive forward inside the box before Zwane stepped up to level matters from the penalty spot.
Stellies skipper, De Goede was given his marching orders 20 minutes from time following a two-footed tackle on Coetzee which left the centre-back unable to continue. Coetzee was stretchered off and had to leave the stadium on crutches.
With five minutes to go, Sphelele Mkhulise opened his league account for the season with a neat finish, running onto a sublime through ball from Zwane, as the Brazilians took the lead.
Downs then netted the third goal in stoppage time when Makgalwa’s well placed shot beat De Jong into the bottom corner to claim all three points for the Brazilians.
Mamelodi Sundowns (57′ Zwane, 85′ Mkhulise 90’+5 Makgalwa) 3-1 Stellenbosch FC (35′ Moon)
Sundowns: Mweene, Lakay, Lukhubeni, Madisha, Mabunda, Coetzee, Arendse, Vilakazi, Mkhulise, Zwane, Meza.
Subs: Pieterse, Affonso, Lebusa, Ngcongca, Makgalwa, Maboe, Ngoma.
Stellenbosch: De Jong, Mobbie, Van Heerden, De Goede, Mthethwa, Awono, Zungu, Matsi, Rayners, Isaacs, Moon.
Subs: Langeveldt, Du Preez, Skelem, Ndlovu, Motsogi, Robertson, Franco.