Siyanda Xulu’s second half goal had cancelled out Gaston Sirino’s opener before Lyle Lakay fired in a 92nd minute winner.
Although Sundowns had early chances through Themba Zwane, the Team of Choice had some moments of their own and home keeper Denis Onyango had to tip a Xulu header over the as well as a saving Thabiso Kutumela’s shot from 12-yards out.
It was however the Brazilians who began to stamp their authority on the match and Sirino, Jose Meza and Hlompho Kekana had shots on goal, but couldn’t find the target.
The deadlock was broken in the 39th minute when Motjeka Madisha played in Sirino, who took advantage of Rushine de Reuck’s slip to curl the ball past Richard Ofori.
Ofori then made an important save to stop Jose Meza from increasing the lead in the 42nd minute.
Maritzburg came out brightly after half time and after a sustained period of pressure, they grabbed 56th minute equaliser through Xulu’s back-post header from an excellent Dan Morgan cross.
Thapelo Morena nearly restored Sundowns’ lead moments later as he curled a shot from a tight angle against the bar.
The hosts had a couple of other opportunities – a Tebogo Langerman shot which was kept out by Ofori and miss in front of goal by Phakamani Mahlambi, but otherwise did not overly worry the KZN side’s defence.
Indeed the Team of Choice seemed to be set for a well-earned point, only to suffer heartbreak late on when Lakay turned in the box and fired a volley which deflected off Xulu and past Ofori.
Sundowns: Onyango, Morena, Madisha, Lebusa, Langerman, Mabunda, Kekana, Zwane, Sirino, Vilakazi, Meza
Subs: Mweene, Jali, Ngcongca, Mahlambi, Lakay, Mkhulise, Coetzee.
Maritzburg: Ofori, Xulu, Morgan, De Reuck, Mngonyama, Allie, Ntshangase, Claasen, Timm, Kutumela, Augusto.
Subs: Mpandle, Sangweni, Shandu, Jappie, Moseamedi, Nyoni, Kunene.