Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns took advantage of their additional personnel in the closing stages, securing a 1-0 victory over 10-man Bloemfontein Celtic in their Premiership encounter at Free State Stadium on Sunday.
Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb was kept on his toes throughout the match and his frustration clearly showed in the second half as the visitors repeatedly broke through his team's defence.
In the 25th minute, Tignyemb was up to the task as he easily kept out a close-range chip from Cuthbert Malajila and three minutes later he denied another thunderous attempt by Malajila.
The hosts were pushed even further back on the defensive when Alfred Ndengane was sent off after being shown a second yellow card with less than half an hour left in the game.
Downs capitalised seven minutes later when Elias Pelembe pounced on a loose ball and hit the back of the next after a blunder by Celtic defender Wandisile Letlabika.
In response, Tignyemb lost his temper, repeatedly shoving Letlabika before the match officials urged him to calm down, allowing play to continue.
Soon afterwards, the visiting side had another chance but Tignyemb parried a strike from Teko Modise to safety.
With less than 10 minutes remaining, Celtic had perhaps their best opportunity of the match, but Musa Nyatama's direct free kick was tipped over by Sundowns shot stopper Kennedy Mweene.
"We knew it was going to be a difficult game and we knew Celtic would be strong on the counter attack," said Modise, who was named Man of the Match.
"We could have taken numerous chances, especially in the first half, but we couldn't convert.
"Fortunately they made a mistake and we were able to punish them."