Mamelodi Sundowns confirmed their qualification for the CAF Champions League knockout stage after overcoming USM Alger on Saturday afternoon at Loftus Versfeld.
Pitso Mosimane welcomed Gaston Sirino and Mosa Lebusa back into the team after the pair recovered from their injury spells.
The Brazilians, who knew the importance of securing three points, started the game with intent and Gaston Sirino had the first chance of the game, with a tame shot stopped by Mohamed Zemmamouche in goals.
Downs took the lead with ten minutes to go in the first half, with Thapelo Morena doing well to control the ball in the box after a Zemmamouche save before firing into the roof of the net.
The visitors had few chances in the first half but managed to get the equalizer in the last minute of regulation time, with Aimen Mahious heading past Denis Onyango in goals after a cross from Tahir Benkhlifa.
With the fourth official raising the board to show two additional minutes of play, Downs responded to conceding immediately as Hlompho Kekana found Sibusiso Vilakazi with an inch-perfect pass before Vilakazi rolled the ball past an oncoming Zemmamouche into the net.
The second half saw both teams settle after the frantic ending to the first half, with Downs enjoying the possession and guarding their lead.
The visitors were handed an opportunity to equalize late on, when Vilakazi brought down an Alger forward in the box, however Mohamed Meftah’s penalty struck the crossbar and Sundowns cleared the danger.
Downs held on to their lead to ensure that they qualify for the next round with two group matches to play.
Mamelodi Sundowns (36’ Morena, 45’+1 Vilakazi) 2-1 USM Alger (44’ Mahious)