Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns staged a late fightback to beat Medeama 3-1 in a Caf Confederation Cup playoff first-leg clash, at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Saturday evening.
Eric Kwakwa opened the scoring in the first minute for visitors and Tom Strand's team looked on course for a famous win, but three goals in six minutes handed the Brazilians the advantage heading into the return fixture.
Leonardo Castro kick-started the comeback before Khama Billiat and Cuthbert Malajila found the back of the net.
Medeama only arrived in the South African capital on Friday morning, but didn't show any signs of fatigue in the early exchanges - opening the scoring in the first minute.
Sundowns failed to close down Kwakwa who capitalised on poor defending by the hosts. The Medeama midfielder with a rasping shot past a stunned Wayne Sandilands, who replaced the injured Denis Onyango in goal.
The Ghanaian side were all over Sundowns with Pitso Mosimane's men lucky not to be two or three goals down in the in the opening half-hour. Mzikayise Mashaba with a timely block in the 23rd minute to deny the visitors.
Sundowns started to find their grove as the half grew on and having rescued his side at the other end, Mashaba went within inches of pulling the sides level 10 minutes later.
The defender-cum-midfielder burst into the area, but could only manage to trouble the woodwork with the goal at his mercy.
Anthony Laffor scored a hat-trick in midweek as Sundwons wrapped up the league title, but the Liberia international was a shadow of the man that hammered three past AmaTuks. After he failed to hit the target from point-blank range five minutes after the break, Mosimane replaced him with Malajila.
Sundowns continued to ramp up the pressure and should've leveled matters in the 58th minute. Keagan Dolly picked out Castro with a pin-point cross, but the Colombia international failed to hit the target.
Castro finally found his range in the 81st minute, heading the ball past Muntari Togoe from a corner-kick.
Billiat put the home side ahead three minutes later with an unbelievable strike from an acute angle. The player of the season contender's cross-cum-shot, sailing over Togoe's head and into the top corner of the net.
Malajila doubled 'Downs advantage in the 87th minute, poking home Thabo Nthethe's cross to complete the comeback.
The reverse fixture is set for the 18th of May at the Essipong stadium in Tarkwa.
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 3 (Castro 81' Billiat 84' Malajila 87')
Medeama (1) 1 (Kwakwa 1')
Sundowns: Sandilands; Langerman (Modise 76'), Nthethe, Arendse, Mphahlele (S.Zwane 76') - Kekana, Mashaba - Dolly, Billiat, Laffor (Malajila 50') - Castro
Medeama: Tagoe; Sarpong, Aidoo, Amoah, Adade - Boahene (Rature 72'), Kwakwa (Yeboah 66'), Akowuah, Bio (Akamimko 80') - Donsu -Mohammed