Orlando Pirates secured a 1-0 victory over AmaZulu FC in an Absa Premiership match at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening.
The victory took the Buccaneers to the fourth spot on the league standings, while Usuthu remained 16th on the table.
The Buccaneers started the match brightly and they should have broken the deadlock 18 minutes into the encounter.
Luvuyo Memela played a through pass for Vincent Pule, but AmaZulu goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha quickly closed down space for the shot.
Usuthu grew in confidence towards the half-hour mark and they had an opportunity to break the deadlock in the 28th minute.
The ball fell kindly for Siyethemba Sithebe, but the attacker’s effort was easily saved by Pirates shot-stopper Wayne Sandilands.
The hosts regained control of the match towards the halftime break, but they were wasteful as Pule missed the target with two well-taken shots.
The score was 0-0 during the halftime break, with AmaZulu having frustrated Pirates.
Pule, who was making his return from suspension, continued to torment the Usuthu defence after the restart and they deservedly opened the scoring.
Thembinkosi Lorch played a cross which was turned home by Pule to make it 1-0 to Pirates in the 52nd minute, much to the delight of the home crowd.
AmaZulu coach Jozef Vukusic decided to introduce Sbusiso Magaqa after the hour-mark as the visitors looked to restore parity.
Pirates continued to attack as Lorch’s goal-bound shot was brilliantly saved by Mbatha, as Josef Zinnbauer’s men looked to double their lead.
Mbatha was a busy man as he pulled off a good save to deny Frank Mhango in the closing stages of the encounter.
Ultimately, Pirates ran out 1-0 winners over AmaZulu, who were unable to grab a late equalising goal on the night.
Orlando Pirates (0) 1 (Pule 52′)
Orlando Pirates XI: Sandilands, Sam (Mako 73′), Jele, Ndengane, Dube, Motshwari, Makaringe, Memela (Ndlovu 88′), Pule, Lorch ( Monyane 90′), Mhango
AmaZulu XI: Mbatha, Darpoh, Mabiliso, Booysen, Xoki, Ncube (Chawapiwa 74′), Sithebe, Maduna (Majoro 82′), Magubane (Magaqa 66′), Lacny, Ntuli.