Tapelo Nyongo’s cracking free-kick guided AmaZulu to a 1-0 Absa Premiership win over Cape Town City at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi on Saturday evening.
Kermit Erasmus missed an early penalty for the visitors who squandered a chance to move within four points of league leaders Bidvest Wits. Victory propels Usuthu seven points clear of the relegation zone.
City were awarded a penalty in the sixth minute following a reckless tackle by Phumlani Gumede on Erasmus. The former Orlando Pirates forward dusted himself off and stepped up to take the penalty, but was denied a first Citizens goal by the impressive Siyabonga Mbatha in the AmaZulu goal.
The AmaZulu shot-stopper was at it again in the 18th minute as Gift Links failed to find the back of the net after being played through on goal by Erasmus. Mbatha with another top save to keep the score at 0-0.
Both teams showcased plenty of desire as the half went on, but neither could break the deadlock before the interval.
Teko Modise was unlucky to see his attempt canon off the crossbar in the 55th minute, but it would be the hosts to open the scoring against the run of play courtesy of an eye-catching strike from Nyongo.
The defender’s unstoppable free-kick from the edge of the area in the 64th minute left Peter Leeuwenburgh with no chance.
Nyongo’s strike sucked all the life out of City who had dominated the game up until that point and despite a late surge forward in search of the equaliser, they failed in their attempts to conjure a point.
Victory over City follows a 2-0 win away to Mamelodi Sundowns as Cavin Johnson’s men now set their sights on another title challenger – Orlando Pirates.
AmaZulu FC (0) 1 (Nyongo 64′)
Cape Town City (0) 0
AmaZulu FC: Mbatha; M.Gumede, Sikhakhane, P.Gumede, Nyongo, Morton, Darpoh (Ouro-Akoriko 84′), Vilakazi, Sithebe, Ncobeni (Chawapiwa 65′), Karuru (Cele 70′).
Cape Town City: Leeuwenburgh; Seedat, Cupido, Mngonyama, Mkhize, Mokeke, Modise (Putsche 80′), Nodada, Links (Ralani 70′), Martin, Erasmus (Akosah-Bempah 80′).