Durban - Veteran defender Mbulelo Mabizela scored his fourth goal in seven games
as the Premiership's bottom club AmaZulu closed to within two points of Free
State Stars with a 1-0 win in their relegation showdown in Durban on
The decisive strike came after 55 minutes when the ex-Bafana Bafana
captain fired in from close range to seal the points and ensure Usuthu are
still alive in the battle for survival.
There was little in terms of goal-mouth action during the opening
quarter of the game, despite no shortage or effort from both sets of players.
Bongani Ndulula should have done better midway through the half when he
delayed pulling the trigger on the edge of the box and was closed down by the
visiting defence, while Katlego Mashego sent a free-kick just over on the
The game finally sprung to life after 33 minutes when Bornwell Mwape
flicked the ball into the path of Goodman Dlamini, whose powerful 18-yard drive
was somehow kept out by a goalkeeper Johnny Mathole diving to his left.
Sadate Ouro-Akoriko then wasted a good chance by skewing his shot over
from eight yards on the right.
And before the break, a third glorious chance went begging when Mwape
lost his marker on the left and drilled across the face of goal where Ndulula
arrived too late to finish.
Ten minutes after the restart and Usuthu were ahead. The goal came when
Ndulula's header from a Marc van Heerden corner was cleared on the line, with
Mabizela in the right place to thump in.
Ea Lla Koto should have levelled with 17 minutes to play, but Danny
Venter chose to pass rather than shoot from six yards after some slick passing
cut the home defence apart in the build-up. The ball ended up trickling wide
and Stars slipping to defeat.