Absa Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns grabbed three points from Stellenbosch FC in Cape Town this evening, thanks to a Themba Zwane goal.
Left-back Tebogo Langerman was in for Mosa Lebusa, while Sphelele Mkhulise replaced Lebohang Maboe. Stellenbosch coach Steve Barker named a surprise side without several first choice selections.
Sundowns' opener and only goal of the game came as early as nine minutes. Hlompho Kekana caught Ali Msengi before releasing Sibusiso Vilakazi who found a superb pass to Zwane who finished with a left-footed effort passed Lee Langeveldt.
Mkhulise next picked up an injury around the half hour mark and was replaced by Maboe. The champions nearly made it 2-0 but Langeveldt made an excellent save to deny a Langerman thunderbolt.
The second-half's first and best chance fell for Zwane but Langeveldt made another great save from a one-on-one situation.
Stellies had a fantastic chance to equalize when Ryan Moon chested down a lovely ball for Karuru but the Zimbabwean's shot sailed over the post. Sundowns had to finish with 10-man after Langerman's injuriy forced him off with all the substitutions made.
Kabo Yellow eventually held on to reduce Amakhosi's log lead to just four points and a game in hand.
Stellenbosch: 35, Langeveldt, 42. Mobbie, 32. Mbekile, 4. De Goede, 5. Mthethwa, 13. Van Heerden, 12. Scott, 14. Msengi, 9. Du Preez, 17. Karuru, 18. Skelem.
Subs: 31. De Jong, 20. Robertson, 15. Bergman, 6. Moroole, 10. Rayners, 21. Isaacs, 29. Moon.
Sundowns: 14. Onyango, 16. Ngcongca, 3. Nascimento, 2. Madisha, 4. Langerman, 8. Kekana, 15. Jali, 10. Sirino, 18. Zwane, 11. Vilakazi, 26. Mkhulise.
Subs: 1. Mweene, 7. Lakay, 25. Ngoma, 33. Maboe, 5. Lebusa, 13. Mabunda, 23. Meza.