AmaZulu have suffered an unfortunate 2-1 loss to Absa Premiership Durban Derby rivals Golden Arrows at King’s Park Stadium on Saturday night.
The result sees Usuthu remain in 15th place on the log, while Abafana Bes’thende rise to seventh.
Arrows looked the stronger team in the early stages and had the ball in the back of the net on 15 minutes through Ntsako Makhubela, but the offside flag was raised in the build-up and the goal was ruled out.
AmaZulu soon began to find their feet in the game and had a promising attack just before the half-hour mark which ended with midfielder Siyethemba Sithebe striking a volley just over the target.
Arrows suffered an injury blow late in the first half when Michael Gumede was stretchered off with what appeared to be a knee injury, and replaced by Lerato Lamola.
The half-time whistle was blown with the teams still locked at 0-0. The second stanza opened with AmaZulu almost claiming the lead within a few seconds of the restart, as Sphesihle Maduna cut inside from the left and rattled the crossbar with a scintillating long-range drive.
Just before the hour mark Usuthu had another threatening moment, with defender Tapelo Xoki getting on the end of a free kick only to see his header travel wide of goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana’s right-hand post.
Midway through the second half Arrows were awarded a debatable penalty, with Lamola falling under a challenge from Samuel Darpoh which appeared to win the ball fairly cleanly. Knox Mutizwa converted from the spot to bring up his 10th league goal of the season and put Abafana Bes’thende into the lead on 69 minutes.
AmaZulu responded with a double change which saw Sphelele Magubane and Sbusiso Magaqa introduced off the bench, and the hosts duly went up a couple of gears in an attempt to get back into the contest.
They were rewarded for their endeavour in the 80th minute, with a right-wing cross knocked down into the path of Sithebe, who fired a low volley to register his first league goal of the season and make it 1-1 on the night.
The match looked destined for a draw, but in the final minute of regulation time Mutizwa stole all three points for Arrows, scoring his second of the night with a curling left-footed effort which went in via the inside of the post.
The teams will return to Premiership action in two weeks’ time, with AmaZulu visiting Chippa United and Arrows hosting Highlands Park.
AmaZulu (0) 1 (Sithebe 80’)
Golden Arrows (0) 2 (Mutizwa 69’ pen 90’)
AmaZulu: Mbatha, Darpoh, Booysen, Xoki, Masilela (M. Gumede 81’), Maduna (Magaqa 71’), Ncube, Sithebe, Chawapiwa (Magubane 71’), Lacny, Ntuli
Arrows: Mlungwana, S. Dube, Sibisi, Mathiane, Lunga, Mtshali, Phiri, Shitolo, Makhubela, Gumede (Lamola 42’), Mutizwa (Ndwandwe 90+4’)Share