The game got off to a slow start, and although Maritzburg dominated possession, AmaZulu stood firm and they could not capitalise on it.
However, it was not long before Usuthu found their rhythm and began imposing themselves on the game.
In the 19th minute Ayanda Dlamini had a good chance, after Marc van Heerden’s long cross found him inside the box, but the striker could not connect with the ball thanks to Thabang Matuka’s interception.
Around the half hour mark, AmaZulu won a free-kick outside the box after Mario Booysen brought down Njabulo Manqana, and Van Heerden’s free-kick found Sadney Urikhob, but his header was wide.
Seven minutes later Booysen was in the thick of it again when he fouled Bongani Ndulula on the edge of the box. This time Van Heerden tried a low drive that forced Shu-Aib Walters into a great save.
With half-time approaching the home-side continued to up the tempo and looked full of ideas going forward, but lacked the final pass and the composure needed.
The Team of Choice took the lead two minutes into the second half, when Yakubu Mohammed received the ball inside the box and fired a shot towards goal, only for Van Heerden to deflect it into his own net.
Usuthu were bridged again on the hour mark, when Thokozani Sekotlong broke down the left before curling the ball past Tapuwa Kapini.
Usuthu threw men forward in the closing stages, leaving them vulnerable to counter attacks. Yakubu used the space and forced Kapini into a save.
With less than 10 minutes to play substitute Sthembiso Ngcobo had the chance to pull one back after Booysen failed to deal with a cross, but his weak effort was saved by Walters.
Goodman Dlamini had two opportunities towards the end of the match, his first attempt going narrowly mark and another blocked by Mohammed Awal as United held on to their lead.