AmaZulu moved to second spot on the DStv Premiership table after snatching a 1-0 win away to Stellenbosch FC on Friday evening.
Thembela Sikhakhane and Xola Mlambo were named on Usuthu’s bench following their return from suspension, while Stellies’ attack featured Stanley Dimgba and Ashley Du Preez.
Du Preez was on the receiving end of a clear chance to put Stellies ahead on eight minutes after running onto a move in behind, but he dragged inches wide in the end.
Junior Mendieta followed up the hosts' pursuit to bag the two minutes later with a rasping shot from out wide which in the end nestled the side-netting of Veli Mothwa’s goal.
AmaZulu also had a chance to open proceedings inside the half-hour mark through Siphesihle Maduna after a cutback in the area from Siyethemba Sithebe, but goalkeeper Sage Stephens parried.
Usuthu aimed to hit the ground running six minutes following the restart as a half-volley from inside the area by Lehlohonolo Majoro narrowly escaped the near corner.
However, Usuthu were fortunate not to fall behind on 58 minutes with a first-time shot in the area from Du Preez cracking the post before the ball bounced back into play and subsequently cleared.
AmaZulu looked to influence matters midway through the second half and introduced Talent Chawapihwa and Zukile Kewuti in favour of Luvuyo Memela and Maduna respectively.
The home side’s blushes were sparred in their search for victory 12 minutes from time, with Mothwa denying Du Preez and Dimgba in quick succession.
It was left to the visitors who sealed the deal at the death when Thabo Qalinge rounded Stephens from a pass by Sithebe for a composed finish to see Usuthu in second spot with a sixth straight win.