Sundowns got off the mark when they secured their first league victory with a 2-0 win over Swallows at the Dobsonville Stadium on Wednesday evening
The match between Swallows and Sundowns was thought to be a fierce encounter in the middle of the park. However the home side sat deep for the most part and absorbed the early pressure applied by The Brazilians.
The Dube Birds allowed their opponents too much space in the midfield in the early stages of the game, giving Sundowns enough room to play and build up their attacks into the final third. Meanwhile, Sundowns started the better and more lively of the two teams, pushing Swallows deep into their own half.
Themba Zwane fired an early shot within the opening minute from a second ball he picked up on the edge of the 18-yard area, but was unlucky to see his effort go wide of goal. Minutes later Teko Modise had two early opportunities of his own. The first with a half volley that was blocked by Rudi Isaacs and the second from a headed attempt that he could not keep under control.
Swallows who were rarely in the Brazilian defensive third, created a good chance when Lerato Chabangu released a cheeky through pass to Vuyisile Wana into the danger area, but was denied by Alje Schut who conceded a corner.
A quarter way in, defender Mario Booysen came close to finding the opening goal with a superb diving header at the near post, but his effort went inches wide. Lanky attacker Mame Niang had a headed attempt of his own from a corner situation, and his effort was cleared off the line by Tsietsi Mahoa.
Swallows eventually tightened things up in the midfield, which frustrated the visitors who reverted to poor long range efforts. The Dube Birds only got their first attempt at goal in the 35th when Lantshene Phalane hit a thunderous 35-yard strike after picking up the second ball from a corner clearance, his shot however went high and wide.
Before the stroke of half time, Modise once again found himself in great space inside the 18-yard area after teaming up brilliantly with Zwane, yet he was unable to find the finishing touch.
Seven minutes into the second period it was the former SuperSport United attacker Niang who broke the deadlock. The Senegalese attacker pounced on a ball played into the 6-yard area where Ashraf Hendricks was extremely slow to react, and Niang made no mistake to slot the ball into the back of the net from a tight angle.
Shortly after, it was none other than Modise with another great opportunity after Elias Pelembe slipped him a fantastic through ball. However, the veteran attacker was unable to beat Greg Etafia from a one-on-one situation.
In the 74th minute Chabangu hit a ferocious 25-yard shot which forced a brilliant save from Kennedy Mweene who had to push the ball out for a corner. With ten minutes remaining, Swallows midfielder Phalane was shown a red card after picking up his second cautionary booking.