Bakgaga offered little going forward against Usuthu, who won via Siyethemba Sithebe's 18th minute header in the box at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi.
The visitors did have a good chance in the 23rd minute, but Ranga Chivaviro, who joined the club from Ubuntu Cape Town in the off-season, disappointingly ballooned his effort.
Asked about their underwhelming display, Nyirend said with a wry smile: “I thought you were analysing? I thought it was a question and you are analysing.”
He calmly continued: “First games are always tense. First games are always difficult but I think the young boys put up a very good fight against AmaZulu.
“We created very good chances, better chances on the run of play, better than the chances that the home side had.
“The first half, yes AmaZulu took charge of it. The very first 10-15 minutes they showed their statement of intent that they needed to get a quick goal and it paid off, because it had to come through their set-piece when we made a defensive error by standing flat in defense.”
The former Kaizer Chiefs player drew encouragement from his side's improved showing after he made some adjustments in the second half.
“After that I think we took charge of the second half, we pressured so much on them,” insisted the ex-Zambia coach.
“We created more scoring chances. Ww didn’t have them in the first half, hence the game was going the other side.
“Going forward, I liked the character of the team, we are looking good. This is a team of young players and I think to play the way they are playing we have a better team coming.”
Nyirenda's charges will host the Citizens at New Peter Mokaba Stadium (19h30).