Strikes by Hlompho Kekana in the 59th minute and Motjeka Madisha in the 70th saw the defending champions march to a fifth straight league victory and first place by a point from Cape Town City, and with a game in hand.
When African champions can snuff out dangerous opponents like Arrows on their home ground so clinically, bringing foreign and Bafana Bafana internationals like Teko Modise, Anele Ngconcga and Fares Hachi off their bench, it is quite an imposing sight.
The Premier Soccer League (PS)L is set for a tight three-way finish between Downs, City and third-placed Bidvest Wits, 2-0 winners against Highlands Park at Makhulong Stadium on Friday night.
But if you had to bet your life on it, you would pick Downs, would you not?
With their pedigree, experience and player power, perhaps only continental distractions can stop Pitso Mosimane’s men from wrapping up a second consecutive league title.
Mosimane was concerned that Arrows would give his side a tricky match in Durban.
The KwaZulu-Natal side had lost once against Sundowns since their promotion back to the PSL at the beginning of last season.
They had drawn in Pretoria and won against Downs last season, and eliminated the Brazilians from the Nedbank Cup three weeks ago.
In a fired-up first half Arrows gave Sundowns a lively 45 minutes, from early on when the dangerous Kudakwashe Mahachi was free down the left to force a one-handed diving save by Denis Onyango
Downs, though, are championship material. They slowly took over control.
Captain Kekana led that charge from the front in that effort, his low shot from range with the outside of the beat following yet another move involving the lively Percy Tau and Khama Billiat seeing Arrows goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede get down well.
Tebogo Langerman was played down the left to force a save by Gumede, the rebound falling to Lucky Mohomi, whose shot was cleared off the line by Matome Mathiane, though with the help of the Arrows captain’s hand. Downs’ penalty appeal was turned down.
Still Arrows did threaten as, at the start of the second half, Mahachi’s run and pass saw Lerato Lamola played through on the right to hit the side-betting.
But Downs took the lead with a simple, efficient goal from their top drawer. Tau, from the right, fed Billiat on the edge of the area who teed up Kekana with a fine, soft touch.
Kekana’s shot was low again, and had the power to beat Gumede from outside the area.
Modise’s experience had an influence for Downs after the former Bafana Bafana playmaker’s introduction for Mzikayise Mashaba soon after the restart.
With 20 minutes to go Modise’s dipping strike from outside the area had Gumede awkwardly pushing over his bar.
From the resultant corner Modise’s delivery was swung in perfectly for Motjeka Madisha to ghost in and get up over Musa Bilankulu to head in a second.
– TMG Digital/TMG Sport