AmaZulu extended their positive streak in the Absa Premiership when they defeated Free State Stars 2-1 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.
Ayanda Dlamini opened the scoring midway through the first half and Ruzaigh Gamildien came off the bench to double the lead soon after the half time break.
Richard Henyekane pulled one goal back for the visitors late in the game but Usuthu were able to hold on for maximum points to claim 10 points from their last four league matches.
Stars asked the questions early on with Henyekane forcing Philani Zikalala to punch an inswinging freekick in the 8th minute, before drawing a good save from the Usuthu goalkeeper in the 14th minute.
From then on it was the hosts who threatened in the final third with Nkosinathi Mthiyane volleying over the crossbar from inside the box in the 22nd minute.
The deadlock was broken seven minutes later when Sifiso Hlanti picked out Ayanda Dlamini at the far post, who then nodded the ball past Tsepo Motsoeneng and into the back of the net.
Usuthu finished the half strongly with Gamildien forcing an excellent low save from Motsoeneng in the 38th minute, while Bongani Ndulula fired against the sidenetting a minute before the break.
The lead was doubled in the first minute of the second half following a defensive mistake from Stars which was punished by a cool finish from Gamildien who was given space on the right side of the box.
Ndulula came close to extending the advantage in the 69th minute after he was played through by Ayanda Dlamini, but his low shot was kept out by Motsoeneng.
Stars reduced the deficit in the 80th minute when Henyekane played a neat one-two with Camaldine Abraw before beating Zikalala from the centre of the box.
Gamildien came close to grabbing his brace in added time but his lobbed effort was cleared off the line by Mbuyiselo Sambu as Usuthu held on for the 2-1 win.
AmaZulu (1) 2 (Dlamini A 29’, Gamildien 46’)
Free State Stars (0) 1 (Henyekane 80’)
AmaZulu: Zikalala, Macala, Hlanti, Nyadombo, Teyise, Madondo, Arwuah, A Dlamini, Mthiyane, G Dlamini (Gamildien 35’), Ndulula (Shabalala 86’)
Free State Stars: Motsoeneng, Masehe, Shabalala, Sambu, Thlone, Kerspuy, Nomandela, Sekola (Abraw 52’), Basie, Yende (King 54’), Henyekane