With the venue packed to the rafters in the south of Durban, Pirates only made one team change against Usuthu after their goalless draw against SuperSport United. Diamond Thopola came in at right-back in place of Mthokozisi Dube, who didn’t finish the match against Matsatsantsa.
Under Micho, Pirates have been able to find a way to win even when they have been under siege, and it is exactly what happened on the weekend as Usuthu took the game to the visitors early on.
And after veteran striker Mabhuti Khenyeza deservedly bundled in the opener following a flowing move in the 11th minute, Musa Nyatama, who has been outstanding this season, pulled his side level when he guided in a header from a free-kick by Luvuyo Memela in the 33rd minute.
Thabo Qalinge then blasted home from close range in the 80th minute to snatch the three points and help his side move within three points of log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, who boast a game in hand.
“This is not an easy place to come but coming to places like this one, practically the team has made huge steps forward in growing, in stabilising in confidence to win here. I’m counting myself honoured and pleased and privileged to be coaching this team,” Micho told reporters after the game.
“They have really shown something different and every single player has given their best. The technical team has done a tremendous job in preparing for the match.
“I believe that we’ve succeeded on the mission of making our supporters happy that we won here.”
With three league matches remaining, Pirates are the only side that can potentially stop Sundowns from reclaiming the crown from Bidvest Wits.
Micho, who has repeatedly downplayed his team's title prospects, plans to make the most of their down time before their next league match with Wits at Orlando Stadium on April 25.
“People are talking of the title race, we are having one week and we’re playing against Bidvest Wits. We have 10 days until we’re playing them,” he added.
“As we have that in mind, we shall use these 10 days properly to refresh, regroup and deeply correct and analyse what was wrong, what was right. We are improving ourselves and are preparing for the last three matches in the league.
“I’m extremely happy with these three points. We’ve made huge steps towards that place that is leading us to the CAF Champions League because Africa is waiting for Orlando Pirates to go to the Champions League.
“Regarding the rest of the things, except the match against Wits, we’ve no right to talk. Our full focus is on the match against Bidvest Wits,” concluded the Serbian.