Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns came back from a goal down on Wednesday night to beat a hard-working Stellenbosch side 3-1 in their Absa Premiership clash at Loftus Versfeld.
The game was off to a slow start as there was little substance to the attacking play of both sides early in the clash with most of the promising build-ups being interrupted by fouls and offsides.
The Brazilians briefly showed off their short-passing ability in the 26th minute when they progressed into the final third with a string of passes, but Sibusiso Mthethwa was in the right position and broke up the play by dispossessing Sphelele Mkhulise.
The breakthrough arrived ten minutes shy of the half-time break. Marc van Heerden whipped in a pin-point cross from the left to find Ryan Moon, whose header beat Kennedy Mweene to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
Stellenbosch deservedly took the lead into the dressing rooms but it was Sundowns who started brightly after the interval.
The hosts won a corner kick and it was swung towards the far post where Rivaldo Coetzee was ready to pounce, but his headed effort went over the bar.
Sundowns hadn't had a shot on target all game, yet in the 57th minute they drew level with a controversial penalty. Themba Zwane went down in the Stellenbosch box, seemingly after a poorly-timed challenge from Mogamad De Goede, and slotted the penalty. However, on second inspection De Goede did not appear to touch the Sundowns player.
More promising play from Pitso Mosimane's charges saw Sibusiso Vilakazi send a slick pass into Zwane's feet, but he was unable to keep his shot on target.
Stellenbosch put themselves under immense pressure in the 73rd minute as De Goede slid into Coetzee at full speed with his studs showing and was shown as straight red card, while Coetzee was substituted by Mosa Lebusa.
The stubborn Stellenbosch defence was finally broken down in the 86th minute when Mkhulise ran onto Zwane's perfectly weighted pass before finishing with a composed left foot to complete the comeback.
The victory was capped off late into stoppage time when a swift counter-attack ended with Keletso Makgalwa putting the ball in the back of the net for the hosts.