Golden Arrows maintained their unbeaten start to the DStv Premiership season with a 2-0 win over AmaZulu in a KwaZulu-Natal derby on Wednesday evening.
Xola Mlambo made a return to Usuthu’s line-up along with Talent Chawapihwa from the 1-1 draw against Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila, whilst Arrows handed a recall to Seth Parusnath.
AmaZulu were under heavy pressure in the opening spell with a shot towards the far side of the six-yard area by Ntsako Makhubela bringing goalkeeper Veli Mothwa to a save.
This back-ward spell from Usuthu continued after the half-hour mark when a loose pass from Luvuyo Memela landed into the path of Michael Gumede who, after racing goal-wards, dragged his effort wide.
Usuthu finally succumbed to the pressure on 45 minutes when Nduduzo Sibiya stepped up from the penalty spot to drill into the near corner after Sandile Khumalo handled in the area.
Abafana Besthende bagged a second goal five minutes into the second half after Ndwandwe sneaked in behind the defence to drill past Mothwa following a well-weighted through pass from Sibiya.
Usuthu responded with a double substitution on 57 minutes, as Phakamani Mahlambi came on for Chawapihwa whilst Augustine Mulenga went out for Siphelele Mthembu.
Arrows continued to dominate minutes later with a free-kick from Parusnath shaving the top of goal before a looping strike from range by Pule Mmodi left Mothwa in doubt.
Former Bafana Bafana international Siphiwe Tshabalala made his debut for Usuthu in the last eight minutes after coming on for Siyethemba Sithebe.
However, the veteran was unable to inspire his side to a comeback soon after entering as Arrows held on for the derby win.
AmaZulu: Mothwa, Sikhakhane, Masilela, Mzava, Khumalo, Mlambo, Sithebe, Ncube, Chawapihwa, Memela, Mulenga
Subs: Boshoff, Xoki, Mabiliso, Gumede, Darpoh, Tshabalala, Magubane, Mahlambi, Mthembu.
Arrows: Mlungwana, Dube, Sibisi, Mathiane, Lunga, Parusnath, Makhubela, Ndwandwe, Mmodi, Sibiya, M.Gumede.
Subs: N.Gumede, Sabelo, Ndlovu, L.Dube, Khwela, Zuke, Mutizwa, Conco, Mtshali.