Aces still in it

The opening 45 minutes saw the home side getting the better of the play and they made their intentions clear from the first whistle as Aces had their first chance on goal in only the third minute.

It came the way of a corner-kick, because of some sloppy defending by AmaZulu, as Joseph Makhanya whipped the ball into the box and found Fabian McCarthy unmarked ten-yards out, but his header was a poor one and went wide of the target.

AmaZulu, though, were not to be outdone on the day and they were able to create some chances of their own. In the eight minute, again from a corner-kick and because of bad defending, Tangeni Shipahu had a chance to open the scoring as he rose highest to meet the ball, but his header also went inches wide from six-yards out.

After that the game fell into a bit of a lull as neither side could really create decent goal scoring chances. Instead, the teams seemed content to try and hold onto the ball, but without posing any real attacking threat.

That, however, all changed in the 34th minute when the home side took the lead, again the chance coming because of some half-hearted defending by AmaZulu.

Marawaan Bantam curled in a dangerous free-kick which Usuthu failed to clear. After a quick goal mouth scramble Vusiwe Masondo was able to pounce on the loose ball and fire it home from 12-yards out to give his side the lead going into the half time break, 1-0.

The home side started the second half where they left off at the end of the first as the applied a mountain of pressure on the AmaZulu goal.

Thabang Rooi should really have doubled Aces lead in the 54th minute when he outmuscled his marker to rise highest to meet a set-piece, but his header went centimetres wide of the post.

Thereafter, no side was really able to create chances in front of goal. Instead, Aces seemed content to defend their lead and keep their hopes of surviving relegation alive.

Luckily for the home side, AmaZulu were very poor in attack in the second 45 and did not threaten their goal.

The game finished 1-0 as Usuthu saw their long unbeaten run come to an end and Aces kept their hopes of staying in the Absa Premiership a reality.