- Goals from Mvala and Mailula earned Downs the win
- The win saw Masandawana widen their lead at the top of the PSL log
- The Buccaneers remained outside the top three spots on the standings
WHAT HAPPENED? Masandawana resumed their defence of the league title with a comfortable win over the Buccaneers at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
The deadlock was broken in the 41st minute when Mothobi Mvala scored from Marcelo Allende's well-taken free-kick to hand the hosts the lead with Masandawana having been forced to substitute Abubeker Nasir in the first half due to an injury.
Sundowns doubled their lead 18 minutes into the second half as Cassius Maliula, who had replaced Nasir, netted from close range as Pirates' poor defending was exposed.
Both teams launched attacks in the latter stages of the game, but they couldn't find the back of the net and ultimately, Sundowns deservedly emerged as 2-0 winners.
ALL EYES ON: Mothobi Mvala, who was deployed as a central defender despite being a midfielder with Mosa Lebusa and Brian Mandela missing.
The Bafana Bafana international rose to the occasion and produced an impressive performance at the heart of the defence.
Mothobi contained Kermit Erasmus who endured a quiet game by his standards and the Sundowns star also broke the deadlock with a curling header.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The win saw Sundowns open an eight-point lead at the top of the PSL standings with second-placed Richards Bay scheduled to play on Saturday.
The Tshwane giants look like the team that will go all the way once again and win the league championship.
On the other hand, Pirates remained fourth on the standings as they missed an opportunity to climb into the top three with a win over Masandawana.
The Buccaneers will have to improve especially in front of goal if they are to challenge for the championship.
WHAT IS NEXT FOR SUNDOWNS AND PIRATES? Masandawana will now take on Swallows FC at home on Tuesday in another PSL encounter.
While Pirates will be away to Cape Town City on January 7 in a league clash.