AmaZulu crashed out of the Telkom Knockout after going down to the Buccaneers at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday evening.
Usuthu managed to respond immediately after going down late in the first half, but would fall short when the match went down the wire.
“I thought we gave them two easy goals. Their first goal was quality. I take my hat off to it, they played well. But we had them up against the ropes. I thought for long times in the game we were probably the better team," Johnson told SuperSport TV.
“But then we gave away, what I thought the first goal was a soft goal, a very soft goal against the run of play. My centre-backs didn’t do the proper work. The third goal was exactly the same thing.
“But if my players can play like this every day or in every game I play then they did a good job tonight. I thought we were in Pirates face in the end you could see.
“We were probably the better on the field. We were able to hold it properly. We tried to go for it in the end but it wasn’t to be tonight. Credit should go to the boys for all the effort. We live to fight another day."