Pretoria - A brace from Nyasha Mushekwi secured Mamelodi Sundowns a 2-1 victory over Free State Stars in their PSL clash at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday evening.
The Zimbabwean netted in either half to get the Brazilians back to winning ways in a game which marked coach Pitso Mosimane's 15th Premiership game in charge since taking over from Johan Neeskens in December last year.
Following Saturday's lacklustre defeat at the hands of Bloemfontein Celtic, Mushekwi's double strike was enough to see off the challenge from Ea Lla Koto, but did little in lifting Mosimane's men up the Premiership standings.
A bright start by the hosts saw Richard Henyekane, Nyasha Mushekwi and skipper Teko Modise put through on goal, but none were able to test Stars goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene.
Hlompho Kekana then forced a solid stop from the Zambian international in the 15th minute, after Sundowns' good work in midfield allowed Kekana space and time to unleash a thunderous effort goalwards.
Sundowns maintained the pressure and were rewarded in the 20th minute, after a period of clinical play resulted in Tebogo Langerman delivering an accurate ball into the area.
Mushekwi neatly controlled the cross with his chest, before letting the ball bounce and unleashing a well-hit volley into the bottom left of goal.
The visitors struggled to create scoring opportunities and had their best chance of the half fall to Katlego Mashego from a set-piece, with the winger grazing the Sundowns' upright from a well-taken left-footed effort from the edge of the area.
Sundowns were left frustrated after several dubious decisions from referee Daniel Volgraaff went Stars' way, but the Free State side were unable to capitalise on their good fortune, while Mosimane was left fuming on the touchline.
The hosts had further chances fall to Elias Pelembe and Henyekane, while at the other end, second half replacement Dove Wome drilled a long-range effort on target, but Sundowns goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands was equal to the task and made a simple stop on the hour mark.
Mushekwi had a golden opportunity of doubling his tally for the night when he was put through on goal by Thamsanqa Sangweni in the 69th minute.
The striker, however, failed to beat Mweene, who made a good save on the ground to deny the Brazilians their second.
The goalscorer was in with another opportunity two minutes later, and this time secured his second with a close-range volley, after a superb delivery from Langerman caused havoc in defence.
Langerman's ball allowed Mushekwi to get into a dangerous position and left Mweene with no chance from just meters out, slotting home for his fifth league goal of the season.
Stars pulled one back five minutes from time from a Wome corner, which was helped along by Stars defender Daniel Cardoso, who headed home and ensured a nervy finish but vital win.