AmaZulu FC secured 2-0 victory over Baroka FC in a DStv Premiership match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday evening.
As a result, Usuthu climbed up to the eighth spot on the league standings, while Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele slipped down to 10th place.
Usuthu saw most of the ball in the opening exchanges with Xola Mlambo pulling the strings from midfield for the visitors.
However, AmaZulu initially found it too difficult to penetrate the Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele’s defence which was solid and compact.
However, Benni McCarthy’s charges grew in confidence after the 15th-mark with Sibusiso Mabiliso making some good runs down the left-hand side.
The 21-year-old left-back delivered a pin-point cross for Bonginkosi Ntuli, who headed home to make it 1-0 to AmaZulu in the 20th minute.
Usuthu then pushed for more goals as Lehlohonolo Majoro’s thunderous effort hit the woodwork with Baroka goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze well-beaten.
The pressure was mounting on Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele’s defence as Ntuli’s left-footed shot was brilliantly saved by Chipezeze on the half-hour mark.
Baroka then contained the visitors in the remaining minutes of the first-half and AmaZulu were leading 1-0 at the interval.
Siyethemba Sithebe looked lively after the restart and he was looking to beat Zimbabwe international Chipezeze from outside the box.
The dreadlocked midfielder unleashed two long-range shots which narrowly missed the target within the first 15 minutes of the second-half.
Attack-minded duo of Siphelele Mthembu and Talent Chawapiwa were introduced by coach McCarthy just after the hour-mark as AmaZulu looked to double their lead.
Baroka coach Thoka Matsimela responded by introducing attacker Kgodiso Monama in the 71st minute left as the hosts looked to snatch a late goal.
However, it was Usuthu, who grabbed a late goal through second-half substitute Siphelele Magubane with the Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele defence exposed.
Sithebe played a cross which was turned home by Magubane to seal a well-deserved 2-0 victory to AmaZulu in the 87th minute.
Baroka (0) 0
AmaZulu (1) 2 (Ntuli 20′, Magubane 87′)
Baroka: Chipezeze, Mphahlele, Jampies (Monama 71′), Makume, Farmer, Kambala, Mgaga, Gebhardt, Phiri Jr, Makgopa, Patjie.
AmaZulu: Mothwa, Gumede, Mabiliso, Khumalo, Xoki, Makhaula, Sithebe (Masilela 90’+3), Mlambo (Ncube 77′), Memela (Chawapiwa 64′), Majoro (Magubane 77′), Ntuli (Mthembu 64′).