Durban - Mpho Mvelase has scored the only goal as Chippa United edged out AmaZulu 1-0 in their Premiership encounter at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu, outside Durban, on Saturday night.
The decisive strike came after 33 minutes as the Chilli Boys compounded Usuthu's woes with a fifth loss in eight games that leaves them bottom of the table.
It was also a poor start for interim AmaZulu coach Wilfred Mugeyi, who was placed in temporary charge after the axing of Craig Rosslee earlier this week.
Chippa began brightly and could have gone ahead twice inside the opening eight minutes. Less than 120 seconds into the game, a swerving 30-yard strike from Ugonna Uzochukwu had to be parried wide by goalkeeper Aubrey Mathibe.
There was another chance for the Eastern Cape outfit not long after -- a threaded ball through the middle forcing Mathibe to dash off his line to clear and when the ball ran loose, Willem Mwedihanga blasted clear.
Despite Chippa doing most of the early pressing, the best chance fell to the home side after 13 minutes as Liphoko escaped down the left and squared to Bornwell Mwape, who went for power rather than precision and cannoned his attempt off the crossbar.
The Chilli Boys responded with another flowing attack that came from the right flank and saw Mpho Mvelase deliver a wonderful cross that beat everyone, including keeper Mathibe and the head of the attacking George Akpabio.
Nigerian Akpabio then provided the killer pass for the opening goal, splitting AmaZulu's right-sided defensive with a ball for Mvelase as the midfielder ran in on goal and lifted the ball beyond the on-rushing Mathibe.
Usuthu had one half-chance to equalise prior to the break, but when Ayanda Dlamini's low cross from the left beat Chippa goalkeeper Mbongeni Mzimela, they failed to clear the goalmouth melee and James Okwuosa cleared.
After the interval, Goodman Dlamini and Sifiso Hlanti had decent chances that they both shot well over.
There was little in terms of chances for the home side, whose fans began to grow increasingly frustrated. Even the introduction of Bafana Bafana star Bongani Ndulula failed to inspire them with chances minimal.
In fact it was Chippa that could have added a second when two counter-attacks ended with their replacement Dumisani Zwane firing wide.
But they held on to go fifth on the league table, albeit for a few hours.