Dstv Premiership champions Sundowns defeated Orlando Pirates 1-0 on Saturday afternoon through a Brian Onyango header.
Sundowns began the battle with 18 points after eight games, with the second-placed Moroka Swallows equal on points but goal difference - while Pirates arrived with five points off the top and a game a hand.
Sundowns made several surprise changes across the pitch, with a counter attacking selection including the likes of Rivaldo Coetzee, Mothobi Mvala and Thapelo Morena's speed - while Pirates have set a hardly changed team.
Pirates came nearest to an opener when Vincent Pule's piercing long hit forced a Denis Onyango save on 15 minutes.
Very few minutes later, it was Pule again with a narrowly wide shot, while the other effort was blocked by his own teammate Innocent Maela.
Sundowns then suddenly grabbed the opener against the run of play on 35 minutes. Rivaldo Coetzee's free-kick was caught in a scrappy congestion before the ball met Onyango’s head to nod past Wayne Sandilands.
Sundowns almost made it 2-0 early in the second half but Khuliso Mudau’s byline cross was cleared by Ntsikelelo Nyauza close to the goalline.
Substitute Gabadinho Mhango swung a tasty free-kick but Onyango was equal to the task on 70 minutes.
The 82 minute saw substitute Kermit Erasmus hit a low shot against the low post after Peter Shalulie did brilliantly to lay the pass.
Sundowns eventually hung on for the full three points and are now three points clear off Moroka Swallows who have a game in hand.
View: PSL log table