AmaZulu FC were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Chippa United in a DStv Premiership match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Despite the defeat, Usuthu remained fourth on the standings and they will be looking to return to winning ways when they square off with Mamelodi Sundowns away on September 18.
Although Usuthu started the match brightly with Augustine Chidi Kwem being denied by goalkeeper Lloyd Kazapua, it was the Chilli Boys who broke the deadlock. The visitors were awarded a penalty after Ramahlwe Mphahlele had handled the ball in the box and Roscoe Pietersen scored from the spot-kick to make it 1-0 to Chippa in the seventh minute.
The hosts responded by exerting pressure on the Chilli Boys’ defence with Kazapua forced to make a fabulous save to deny his Namibian compatriot Riaan Hanamub at the near-post. However, the lanky shot-stopper was beaten by Kwem’s effort which hit the woodwork and Kazapua then denied Dumisani Zuma from the rebound.
At the other end, Mothwa pulled off a superb save to deny Andile Mbenyane after the Usuthu defence was exposed following a quick counterattack by the away side. Chippa did take a 2-0 lead into the half-time break when Orlando Pirates loanee Azola Matrose scored with a fine strike at the near post with Mothwa well-beaten.
Usuthu pushed for their first goal of the match after the restart with coach Brandon Truter having introduced Bonginkosi Ntuli who was looking to bully the Chilli Boys’ backline. Kazapua was forced to deal with Hanamub’s effort, while Ethan Brooks played a lovely ball for Kwem whose shot narrowly missed the target.
The hosts pushed for at least two late goals in the latter stages of the encounter, but they grabbed what proved to be a mere consolation goal when Veluyeke Zulu scored in stoppage time and AmaZulu were reduced to 10 players when Kwem was shown a straight card. Ultimately, the game ended in a 2-1 win in favour of Chippa.
AmaZulu (0) 1 (Zulu 90’+2)
Chippa (2) 2 (Pietersen 7′, Matrose 43′)
AmaZulu: Mothwa, Sikhakhane, Hanamub, Gumede, Mphahlele, Buchanan (Zulu 66′), Maluleka (Brooks 66′), Kwem, Zuma (Ntuli 46′), Majoro (Ceesay 80′).
Chippa: Kazapua, Mdunyelwa, Banda (Mathiane 52′), Pietersen, Mkhize, Pfumbidzai, Lebitso, Luthuli, Mbenyane (Appolis 80′), Matrose (Abrahams 71′) Kambindu (Chabalala 71′).