Baroka FC returned to winning ways with a slender 1-0 victory over AmaZulu in the Absa Premiership on Sunday.
Baroka coach Wedson Nyirenda made a single change with Thabiso Semenya returning, while Usuthu brought in Marc Van Heerden, Butholezwe Ncube and Talent Chawapihwa.
The odds were stacked on both sides, especially AmaZulu who in the opening five minutes squandered a few decent opportunities.
Baroka launched their first attempt on 21 minutes when Bonginkosi Makume’s low shot skipped off the surface before flashing narrowly wide.
Exactly four minutes to halftime, Mduduzi Mdantsane squandered the best chance of the half with a poor attempt at Siyabonga Mbatha from inside the area.
The second half started off on a lukewarm note, with Collins Makgaka heading wide from a corner while Mbongeni Gumede forced Mbatha into a save in the earlier minutes.
Mbatha made another blind-saving stop on 69 minutes from Onkgebatse Makgantai’s low shot off the shoulder of the area.
In an attempt to find the winning goal, Usuthu coach Cavin Johnson made a double change late on in Nhlanhla Vilakazi and Somila Ntsundwana, while Baroka responded with their first in Jemondre Dickens.
Howeer, it was Baroka who found the breakthrough with five minutes left in the second half after Tshidiso Patjie rounded Mbatha to tap into an empty net.
Usuthu pushed for an equaliser but Bakgaga Ba Ga Mphahlele locked the gates to confirm the three points, which sees them move up to 12th spot.
Baroka: Chipezeze, Ntswane, Madigoe,Sibiya, Gebhardt, Semenya, Mdantsane, Makgaka, Makume, Makgantai, Patjie.
Subs: Dlamini, Madubanya, Mapheto, Mabeba, Dickens, Mongae, Chivaviro.
AmaZulu: Mbatha, M.Gumede, Mabiliso, Van Heerden, T.Gumede, Morton, Ncube, Sithebe, Chawapihwa, Karuru, Ntuli.
Subs: Josephs, Our-Akoriko, Maduna, Darpoh, Ramphela, Vilakazi, Ntsundwana.