A Cuthbert Malajila brace handed the PSL champions a comfortable 2-0 victory over AmaZulu at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Sunday afternoon
However, AmaZulu showed little respect to the side that humiliated them 7-1 this time last season, with Goodman Dlamini asking Kennedy Mweene questions inside the opening five minutes.
Kudakwashe Mahachi had his penalty appeal turn down in the 7th minute, after his left-footed shot came off the hand of one of Usuthu defenders inside the box.
Sundowns looked the better team on the pitch, with Elias Pelembe releasing Surprise Moriri a few minutes later, only for Carlington Nyandombo to block the midfielder's shot with a fine tackle.
Sadat Ouro-Akoriko's header came off the woodwork in the 21st minute, leaving Mweene rooted on his goal line from John Arwuah's floating free-kick.
Moriri was unfortunate to have his 25th-minute header cleared off the line by Nhlanhla Shabalala as the home side looked likely to break the deadlock.
On 35 minutes, defender Mario Booysen failed to hit target with his header from close range despite the amount of space afforded to him by AmaZulu players inside the box.
Both teams however, had to settle for goalless score line at the end of the first 45 minutes after failing to take their chances.
Tapuwa Kapini had to turn Hlompho Kekana's thunderous strike away for Sundowns' first corner of the second half from a free-kick situation 10 minutes after the restart.
Sundowns then took the lead on the hour-mark through Curthbert Malajila, who turned in Tebogo Langerman's pin-point cross with a powerful header.
Malajila made it 2-0 seven minutes later, this time meeting Moriri's cross with a brilliant header that gave Kapini no chance from inside the Usuthu box.
Pelembe should have put the game to rest in the 76th minute, after failing to meet Uzoenyi Ejike's delightful cross that beat Kapini on its away out for a goal-kick.
Malajila missed a clear-cut chance that would have seen him grab a hat-trick on the day, as he swept his shot wide of Kapini's goal from with only the AmaZulu keeper to beat.
However, his two goals were enough to ease pressure on Pitso Mosimane, who was recently attacked by the Sundowns fans.