Mamelodi Sundowns cut the gap at the top of the Premiership table after goals in each half by Surprise Moriri and Teko Modise gave them a 2-0 win over AmaZulu at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu, north of Durban, on Sunday.
The result closed the gap between the second-placed Brazilians and leaders Kaizer Chiefs to six points, while Usuthu stayed seventh.
AmaZulu made most of the early running in front of lively crowd, but almost fell behind after eight minutes when Tebogo Langerman cut inside from the left and sent a serving shot towards goalkeeper Kapini, who had to tip over.
From the resulting Elias Pelembe corner the visitors went ahead as Moriri powered in a header at the near post.
The hosts had a chance to hit straight back courtesy of a 25-yard free-kick, wastefully shot high and wide by an embarrassed Marc van Heerden.
Sundowns too had a set-piece opening not long after, although the result was the same from over 30 metres this time.
With the midfield packed and the visitors happy to sit on their lead, there was little chance to get forward for Craig Rosslee’s men, Langerman had another chance on the half-hour when he again pushed forward, only to this time blaze over, while left-back Van Heerden drew some boos from the frustrated home crowd when he wasted a 25-yard dead ball situation from the left.
AmaZulu did get a little closer just before the break when Bonginkosi Macala’s cross was headed over by Ayanda Dlamini.
After the restart, chances continued to prove few and far between with Bafana Bafana defender Van Heerden sending a rare attempt from open play well over, The home side were denied a penalty after 73 minutes when substitute Mzikayise Mashaba appeared to handle the ball in the box from a Van Heerden free-kick, although referee Thabo Nkosi waved play on.
And when Sundowns broke forward moments later they landed the killer blow with Anthony Laffor’s left-side cross missed by the diving Kapini allowing Modise time to control and slot in as they ran out easy winners.