AmaZulu FC secured their first DStv Premiership victory of the season when they edged out Baroka FC 1-0 at the Jonsson Kings Park Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The victory took Usuthu to the eighth spot on the league standings and they are now a place behind Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele, who recorded their third defeat of the season.
Usuthu applied some pressure on the Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele’s defence from the start and the visitors conceded a penalty after Sphesihle Maduna was fouled in the box.
Bonginkosi Ntuli made no mistake from the spot-kick as the in-form striker scored to hand AmaZulu a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute and it was his fourth goal in three matches.
Baroka tried to respond with a goal, but they were frustrated by the hosts’ resolute defence and they resorted to long balls, and crosses which were cleared away by the hosts.
The visitors were awarded a free-kick in a promising area on the half-hour mark, but Athenkosi Dlala’s effort was easily gathered by goalkeeper Veli Mothwa, who was well-positioned.
The score was 1-0 to AmaZulu at the interval and Baroka had to find a way to penetrate the hosts’ solid defence and find the back of the net after the restart.
Usuthu did not sit back and defeat their slender lead after the restart as they surged forward in numbers – searching for their second goal of the encounter.
Sinethemba Sithebe looked to make it 2-0 on the hour-mark when the Bafana Bafana international unleashed a powerful shot which was well saved by keeper Elvis Chipezeze.
Kgodiso Monama were all introduced by Baroka head coach Thola Matsimela in the 73rd minute as the visitors looked to snatch a late equalising goal.
However, the visitors found it difficult to create clear-cut chances in the closing stages of the game and ultimately, the match ended in 1-0 victory favour of AmaZulu on the day.
AmaZulu (1) 1 (Ntuli 13′ pen)
AMAZULU: Mothwa, Gumede, Masilela (Mgwazela 46′), Xoki, Khumalo, Makhaula, Sithebe, Buchanan (Mzava 82′), Ceesay (Moremi 82′), Maduna (Mthembu 69′), Ntuli (Memela 67′).
BAROKA: Chipezeze, Farmer, Kamatuka, Makume, Sibiya, Kambala (Monama 73”), Dlala (Chauke 46′), Gebhardt (Mokhai 46′), Phiri Jr (Mgaga 46′), Mbulu (Sithole 88′), Makgopa.© Backpage TXT