While Masandawana dominated proceedings for much of the game, they failed to penetrate the Kings of Titles’ defence. But following a tactical switch in the second half, Sundowns grabbed the all-important winner through Yannick Zakri.
Speaking after the game, Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane was pleased with the slender advantage going into the second leg, but admitted that the Brazilians’ tame first half performance was down to a tactical mistake on his part.
"To be honest, it was a totally different game for us. That’s why I like Champions League because it’s totally different tactics to the PSL," Mosimane told Sabc Sport.
"We struggled in the first half to break the ice, we struggled to get the rhythm, we struggled to play like Mamelodi Sundowns and I could see that the boys were getting frustrated, and thanks to the Yellow Nation on the other side, they kept singing and bringing us up which is very good.
"I think I did not get the tactics right in the first half,” he admitted.
“I thought the three-man midfield of Oupa (Manyisa), (Hlompho) Kekana and 'Vila' (Sibusiso Vilakazi) would help us to dominate the play. Yes, it helped us to dominate the play, but we did not look like scoring," he continued.
“Leo (Castro) was a little isolated upfront and we could not get more firepower upfront, so that’s why I changed in the second half.
“I didn’t even want to play two strikers, I played three in the second half, Percy (Tau), Leo and Zakri to try and put more pressure and finally it payed off and we broke the ice,” he concluded.