AmaZulu humbled defending champions Bidvest Wits 3-0 in an Absa Premiership match at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The victory moves Usuthu up to the seventh spot on the league standings, while the Clever Boys slipped down to 15th on the table, and in dire straits.
Usuthu started the match on a lively note and they fired the first warning just four minutes into the game with Sduduzo Dlamini forcing Bidvest Wits goalkeeper Moeeneb Josephs into a save with a shot from range.
Josephs was then beaten in the 11th minute when Michael Morton hit the back of the net with a beautiful curling effort from outside the box – making it 1-0 to AmaZulu.
The defending champions thought they had levelled matters six minutes later when Vincent Pule beat AmaZulu keeper Siyabonga Mbatha, but the goal was disallowed due to a handball in the build-up.
Having taken the lead, Usuthu resorted to defending in numbers and this allowed the Clever Boys to pile pressure onto the hosts, who were looking to protect their slender lead.
Daylon Claasen decided to try his luck from range in the 32nd minute, but his effort went wide of the target as AmaZulu continued to frustrate their visitors.
Nevertheless, the score was 1-0 to AmaZulu thanks to Morton’s early goal which was his first goal for his current employers. He is on-loan in KwaZulu-Natal from SuperSport United.
Wits coach Gavin Hunt made a double substitution at the interval as Daine Klate and Frank Mhango replaced Steven Pienaar and Claasen respectively, as the visitors looked to restore parity.
However, AmaZulu ran riot as Phumlani Ntshangase handled the ball in the box – the hosts were awarded a penalty which was converted by Rhulani Manzini – making it 2-0 on the hour-mark.
Two minutes later, the former Platinum Stars marksman beat Josephs again – this time he scored with a low curling effort to make it 3-0 to AmaZulu.
Morton, who was having a great game in the middle of the park for AmaZulu, was then sent off after he retaliated and shoved Mhango to the ground in the 71st minute.
Cavin Johnson, the Usuthu head coach, then introduced veteran forward Siyabonga Nomvethe eight minutes later as they looked to extend their lead despite being a man down.
The momentum was with Wits in the closing stages as they were hoping to take advantage of their numerical superiority over AmaZulu.
However, AmaZulu stood firm at the back with Mbatha denying Kobamelo Kodisang in stoppage time. The hosts holding on for a memorable win.
– African News Agency (ANA)