AmaZulu registered their first win of the season in the DStv Premiership after edging Baroka FC 1-0 on Saturday afternoon.
Usuthu featured the return of Keagan Buchanan from Wednesday’s 2-2 draw against Golden Arrows, with striker Bonginkosi Ntuli given another start, whereas Baroka recalled Gerald Phiri Junior.
The host got off to the ideal start 13 minutes from kick-off as Ntuli stepped up to the penalty-spot to beat Baroka shot-stopper Elvis Chipezeze after Spheshile Maduna went down in the area.
Bakgaga Ba Ga Mphahlele, who came into the clash high in confidence, got a chance to level shortly before the half-hour mark from the head of Phiri Junior but it went wide.
That didn’t stop Bakgaga to probe thereafter, as Phiri Junior launched a promising free-kick beyond target before Athenkosi Dlala’s strike from another free-kick forced a save of Veli Mothwa.
Baroka entered the second half in mean mood, as a triple substitution in Tshepo Mokhabi, Decide Chauke and Nhlanhla Mgapa followed.
The tweaks from Matsimela Thoka were welcome ones more so after Chauke got a clever shot away in the area a little later on from a move pertaining Joslin Kamatuka.
However, Usuthu quickly regained ground closer to the final spell of the match and from a decent opening allowed Siyethemba Sithebe to bring Chipezeze to a save from a snap shot.
With the clock looming, Usuthu possessed calmness to register their first league win of the season after running down the final stages of the match.
AmaZulu: Mothwa, Gumede, Khumalo, Xoki, Masilela, Sithebe, Makhaula, Ceesay, Buchanan, Maduna, Ntuli.
Subs: Boshoff, Mzava, Mgwazela, Memela, Moremi, Ekstein, De Jong, Mthembu, Majoro
Baroka: Chipezeze, Makume, Sibiya, Kamatuka, Dlala, Kambala, Farmer, Gebhardt, Mbulu, Phiri Jr, Makgopa.
Subs: Chibwe, Seema, Mgaga, Sithole, Chauke, Monama, Mokhabi, Shozi, Mphahlele