Cape Town - SuperSport United saw their struggles continue in the Absa Premiership when they lost 1-0 to AmaZulu at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday.
SuperSport coach Eric Tinkler handed a debut to new signing Evans Rusike as he looked to end a run of three defeats in five Premiership outings.
It was the debutant who nearly came to the fore inside the opening 15 minutes as he went through on goal but was denied by Siyabonga Mbatha with a solid save in a one-on-one situation.
It was a game devoid of clear-cut chances with neither team showing much enterprise going forward given their situations near the bottom half of the table. It went into the break all-square as there was very little on show in terms of action in the final third.
After the break, Reyaad Pieterse had to be on his toes when he denied Ovidy Karuru with a point-blank save. Soon after Dean Furman was inches away from handing the hosts the lead but his strike rebounded off the inside of the far post.
Nonetheless, the first goal arrived in the 53rd minute from Karuru as he reacted sharply to turn in an effort from a Pieterse save.
Sadat Ouro-Akoriko was close to making it 2-0 but United's keeper made an athletic stop to deny the visitors a second goal.
Tapelo Nyongo then hit the woodwork as Usuthu looked the more threatening as the second stanza moved towards the closing stages. Karuru saw an effort cleared off the line not long afterwards as Matsatsantsa wilted under pressure at home.
However, at the death Mbule missed a golden opportunity to draw level when he put his free header wide. The result heaps pressure Tinkler, who now sees his team being drawn into a relegation battle.