Striker Fadlu Davids made history by becoming the first player to hit the target at the magnificent Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Despite playing at their newly-adopted venue in front of almost 22 000 of their own fans, Usuthu looked disjointed on the day and had only themselves to blame for having nothing to show for their afternoon’s efforts.
They were the livelier team in the first half, with Sibusiso Hadebe, in particular, one of their outstanding players. He had a crack at goals in the second minute, but his effort flew harmlessly past Tashrique Goldman’s goal.
Hadebe was in the thick of the action, and in the 28 minute he pulled clear of Maritzburg’s defence and was darting towards goal when some overzealous jersey-tugging from Peter Petersen brought Hadebe’s run to a grinding halt a few metres away from the danger area.
For his ill discipline, Petersen became the first player to be sent off at this venue.
Coach Neil Tovey tried to capitalise on his team’s numerical advantage by making two quick changes shortly after the break, bringing on attack-minded players Ayanda Dlamini and Stembiso Dlamini, but it was to no avail.
The visitors seemed relatively unaffected by being a man down, easily subduing the home team's attacking intent, and got the decisive goal in the 71st minute during one of their rare attacking forays.
Davids scored when he headed home James Madidilani’s set-piece on target in the 72nd minute.