Malawi defender Limbikani Mzava’s AmaZulu cemented sixth spot in South Africa’s DStv Premiership with a 1-0 win over Chippa United on Wednesday evening.
Chippa made two changes in Augustine Kwem and Bienvenu Eva Nga from Saturday’s loss to Orlando Pirates, as Usuthu handed Zukile Kewuti and Lehlohonolo Majoro a return.
It was Usuthu that started off promisingly inside the early exchanges with a snap-shot from a tight angle by Majoro, but goalkeeper Ayanda Mtshali parried quite comfortably.
Chippa launched a more potent threat inside 20 minutes from a half-volley on the far side of the six-yard area by Mokhele Maloisane, but the post got the visiting side out of jail.
The visitors started to regain momentum following the topsy-turvy spell and worked a save off Mtshali with a snap-shot from Siyethemba Sithebe after a cross from Thembela Sikhakhane.
Usuthu let the host off the hook minutes to halftime from a clear opening involving Siphelele Mthembu and Kewuti; however, neither took aim but passed the buck.
Usuthu coach Benni McCarthy turned to the bench ahead of the second half and introduced Siphelele Magubane for Zambian Augustine Mulenga.
The Chilli Boys trailed in the first 10 minutes of the second stanza after Tapelo Xoki stepped up from the penalty spot to profit following a foul in the danger area.
This sparked a renewed energy from the host as the half went by. However, goalkeeper Veli Mothwa prevented Peter Maloisane from finding the equaliser.
Usuthu remained on the back-foot closer to the end, as Nga threatened with a snap-shot from a loose pass but dragged wide in the end.
However, Usuthu almost doubled their lead in the final minute from a snap effort by Majoro but a goal-line clearance denied the veteran though his side still won the clash.
Mzava watched the action from the bench.—KickOff/The Daily Times