Polokwane - Mamelodi Sundowns eked out a 2-1 win over Baroka FC in their Absa Premiership clash at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.
Even though they had plenty of shots on goal throughout the match Sundowns needed a penalty to open the scoring with Ricardo Nascimento converting from the spot in the 38th minute.
Baroka were able to pull one back through Onkabetse Makgantai in the second half, but Arthur Zwane restored Sundowns’ lead soon afterwards with what proved to be the winner.
There were fears before the match that Sundowns might not be motivated after head coach Pitso Mosimane admitted he had given up on challenging for the league title last week.
However, the Brazilians began the match in with vigour and created chance after chance without any luck.
Sibusiso Vilakazi was especially wasteful after sending a shot from less than 10 metres out flying well over the bar.
Sundowns were handed a lifeline by their hosts seven minutes before half-time when Vilakazi was pushed in the box and the visitors were awarded a penalty. Nascimento stepped up confidently and converted well to give his side a 1-0 lead.
Baroka were much better after half-time and created a couple of good chances on the counter. They were even able to convert one in the 52nd minute with Makgantai blasting the ball past a helpless Kennedy Mweene from close range.
Sundowns refocused and it took just five minutes for them to restore their lead. Zwane appeared offside as he was slid in by a beautiful ball from Hlompho Kekana and he finished well. But, upon watching reviews it was clear that Zwane was being played onside by a lagging Baroka defender.
Having learned from their earlier mistake, Sundowns did not take their foot off the gas again. They created plenty of chances to extend their lead and secure the result, but weren't able to find the back of the net again.
Thankfully for the Brazilians it didn't matter and they ran out 2-1 winners.