AmaZulu were brought back down to earth on Wednesday evening after suffering a 2-0 defeat to DStv Premiership new boys Sekhukhune United.
Result: Sekhukhune United 2-0 AmaZulu
Date: 27 October 2021
Venue: Ellis Park
Tsepo Masilela, Tapelo Xoki, Tercious Malepe, Lehlohonolo Majoro and Augustine Mulenga were recalled to the Usuthu line-up while Sekhukhune handed rare starts to Seth Parusnath, Tshidiso Patjie and Pogiso Mahlangu.
Babina Noko were playing on counter-attacks from the onset and Mahlangu had a big chance in the 12th minute after he received a cut-back inside the box but his shot was saved by goalkeeper Veli Mothwa.
Parusnath also had a wonderful opportunity to break the deadlock for MacDonald Makhubedu's charges in the 25th minute as AmaZulu were leaving big spaces behind the defence, clear on goal but his thumping effort was repelled by Mothwa, in a one-on-one.
The visitors had a rare chance just before the half-time break after Mulenga latched onto a loose ball that saw him have clear sight of goal but his shot was saved by goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata from close range.
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That all changed in the second half, as Willard Katsande broke the deadlock for the home side three minutes after the halftime break with a simple finish far post after a well-worked corner.
Sekhukhune had a goal disallowed just after that for offside as they put AmaZulu under pressure but Chibuike Ohizu eventually doubled their lead three minutes later with a low strike past Mothwa inside the box after some quick combination play.
Benni McCarthy tried to rescue the game with a double attacking and tactical change, as Tshepang Moremi replaced Masilela and Siyanda Khumalo came on Mbongeni Gumede.
Usuthu had a lifeline in the last 20 minutes after Sekhukhune were reduced to ten men, as Mahlangu got a second yellow card for a foul on Mothwa.
However, AmaZulu did not look like coming back into the game, unable to create chances, with Sekhukhune staying compact at the back to hold on for a third straight win.
Here's how they started:
Sekhukhune: 1. Nsabata, 42. Mobbie, 31. Katsande, 13. Motsepe, 21. Jampies, 39. Gyimah, 20. Leepile, 26. Parusnath, 11. Patjie, 35. Mahlangu, 34. Ohizu.
Subs: 16. Kapini, Mbonani, 14. Matona, 18. De Jongh, 22. Nxumalo, 7. Mncube, 25. Rakhale, 24. Sithole, 9. Mashumba.
AmaZulu: 44. Mothwa, 17. Gumede, 24. Masilela, 27. Xoki, 5. Sikhakhane, 4. Malepe, 45. Buchanan, 23. Mlambo, 30. Mulenga, 11. Memela, 20. Majoro.
Subs: 43. Boshoff, 22. Khumalo, 39. Mgwazela, 13. Zulu, 19. Moremi, 28. Ekstein, 14. De Jong, 9. Mthembu, 7. Ntuli.