Durban - Njabulo Manqana scored deep into injury time as AmaZulu stunned Platinum Stars 1-0 in their Premiership encounter at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday.
Both sides struck the woodwork earlier in the game with Dikwena captain Thuso Phala firing against the left upright at the end of the first half, while Marc van Heerden’s rising shot close to the end cannoned back off the crossbar.
But just as the match was heading towards a stalemate, Manqana was played in on the left and finished off a well-disguised pass from replacement Kagiso Senamela.
The win left Usuthu unbeaten in 2013, but they remained in 13th place, while Stars stayed third.
There was little in terms of goal-mouth action during the opening 15 minutes -- the only significant moment coming when Phala’s corner fell to Tintswalo Tshabalala at the back post, but the winger struck over.
The visitors then had a fantastic opening in the 17th minute when captain Phala skipped past a defender on the left side of the box and struck the base of the upright after he was played through by Enocent Mkhabela.
AmaZulu finally had their first opening before the half-hour mark when Goodman Dlamini’s pinpoint cross found Ayanda Dlamini, who failed to direct a free-header on target.
At the other end, the visitors were still asking more questions and Tshabalala was next to turn wide at the near post after an arrowed cross by the dangerous Phala.
Then before the break Thabiso Semenya, who came on as an early injury replacement, made a goal-saving tackle on Ayanda Dlamini when the striker was clean through, before the same Stars player had Usuthu goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini scampering with a long-range scissor kick that drifted inches wide.
After the restart, the Platinum club kept up the pressure and Vuyo Mere’s 20-yard drive warmed the palms of a diving Kapini.
The home team responded on the hour when Kulegani Madondo linked up well with Ayanda Dlamini in the box, but the latter fired tamely at Siyabonga Mpontshane.
Stars won a corner from the subsequent counter-attack and goalkeeper Kapini almost made a hash of things when he hastily came off his line, before retreating in time to tip over Lindokuhle Mbatha’s cleverly dinked shot.
With time running out, Senamela curled a 30-yard free-kick just wide, before Van Heerden cantered forward after winning the ball in midfield and watched his rising shot shake the crossbar.
Five minutes were added at the end and four minutes into stoppage time, Manqana had the final say with his low close-range finish.