Ayanda Dlamini scored late in the second half as AmaZulu defeated Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 in their Absa Premiership encounter at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday night.
The visitors came close to opening the scoring in the third minute but Lyle Lakay was denied by a good save from Tapuwa Kapini.
Ruzaigh Gamildien thought he had broken the deadlock in the 16th minute when fired home on the rebound after Kapini had been forced to parry a shot from Roderick Mutuma, but his goal was ruled out for offside.
Seven minutes later Gamildien headed over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area after doing well to attack a cross from Lakay.
Usuthu then started to get into the game but Goodman Dlamini blasted his effort over the crossbar in the 33rd minute, before Njabulo Manqana sent his low shot wide a minute later.
Celtic then ended the first half strongly with Lakay forcing Kapini to palm his free kick over the crossbar in the 33rd minute, before denying Thabo Nthethe in similar fashion a minute later.
Then on the stroke of half time Gamildien almost caught Kapini off guard with a shot from outside the box, but the AmaZulu goalkeeper was relieved to watch the ball flying wide of his upright.
Phunya Sele Sele continued to threaten early in the second half with John Arwuah heading over the bar in the 47th minute, while Gamildien wasted a great chance four minutes later, firing over the target from deep inside the box.
The two sides continued to trade blows with Mutuma sending his header straight at Kapini in the 56th minute, before Thamsanqa Teyise narrowly missed thef target from a corner a minute later.
Craig Rosslee’s side then created two brilliant opportunities after the hour mark, only for Andile Khumalo to see his shot coming off the woodwork in the 66th minute, while Ayanda Dlamini forced a top save from Patrick Tignyemb three minutes later.
Kapini pulled off another great save in the 80th minute as he came off his line quickly to block a low shot from Mutuma, after he had been put through by Gamildien.
Usuthu eventually found the back of the net a minute later; substitute Thokozani Mshengu was denied by a good block from Tignyemb, but Ayanda Dlamini was on hand to control the rebound before firing home from the right side of the box.
AmaZulu (0) 1 (Dlamini A 81′)
Bloemfontein Celtic 0
AmaZulu: Kapini, Hlongwa, Cele N (Zwane 84′), Teyise, Mwedihanga, Dlamini G, Kgatla, Manqana, Malongoane (Mshengu 67′), Dlamini A, Khumalo (Senamela 67′
Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Mahoa (Motlhaping 90′), Nthethe, Isaacs, Mzava, Lakay, Arwuah, Nyanda (Bacela 67′), Madubanya, Mutuma (Ntanga 82′), Gamildien