Durban - A goal at the death by debutant Lucky Nguzana helped AmaZulu snatch a 1-0 victory over Polokwane City in their Premiership battle at the Princes Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu, outside Durban, on Wednesday night.
The striker, signed as a free agent earlier in the week, rifled a first-time shot into the goal after coming on as a substitute midway through the second half giving Usuthu all three points that took them back into the top eight.
Polokwane, meanwhile, stayed second bottom.
Goodman Dlamini had the first attempt on goal after eight minutes, but ended up dragging his effort wide.
Marc van Heerden then sent a powerful shot in the swirling rain straight into the arms of goalkeeper Modiri Marumo.
At the other end, Kabelo Lichaba tried his luck from distance after good inter-passing between Thobani Mncwango and Esau Kanyenda on the edge of the box.
But Usuthu continued to look more threatening with an inviting Njabulo Manqana cross from the left headed wide via a deflection off a defender by Bongani Ndulula.
Winger Manqana then saw an inswinging corner clawed away by Modiri Marumo, with the same player again forcing the Polokwane custodian to react sharply to an ambitious first-time effort from wide on the right.
There were two rare chances for the visitors before the break as Galabgwe Moyana picked up on a poor clearance on the left and shot agonisingly wide of goal with Philani Zikalala scrambling.
Thabo Rakhale then shot straight at the home goalkeeper as it remained deadlocked at the break.
An error from Marumo almost gave Ayanda Dlamini an opening straight after the break, but Vukile Mngqibisa made a last ditch tackle to clear.
Moyana had a good chance when Polokwane broke quickly forward, although he shot off-balance and straight at Zikalala.
AmaZulu had another chance on the hour that went begging as Ayanda Dlamini headed down into the path of Goodman Dlamini, who hammered over.
Their coach Craig Rosslee threw in Nguzana for a debut as well as injury returnee Ruzaigh Gamildien and it almost yielded dividends as a quick counter-attack resulted in Goodman Dlamini forcing Marumo into a low save to his right.
Moyana then left his marker for pace and shot inches wide, before Mncwango failed to connect when he found himself alone with Zikalala as Polokwane produced the best openings of the game.
However, just as it looked like they were going to earn a point, a half-cleared ball landed at the feet of Nguzana, who powered in for the win.