Golden Arrows registered their first win of the season in the DStv Premiership after defeating AmaZulu 1-0 on Wednesday evening in the KwaZulu-Natal derby.
Ethan Brooks’ first start for Usuthu coincided with recalls for Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Lehlohonolo Majoro, whilst Arrows stay unchanged from their last outing against TS Galaxy.
Abafana Besthende looked to take the lead earlier on from a smartly taken free-kick 10-yards from the box by Velemseni Ndwandwe, but Veli Mothwa parried.
In response, Usuthu drew a foul around the area and won a free-kick of their own which Riaan Hanamub curled wide of the far post before Ndwandwe fluffed another opening at the other end.
Usuthu remained patient later on and managed to get an opening after George Maluleke worked an angle from outside the area and shaved the crossbar through a speculative shot.
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The spell of play remained balanced towards the half-hour mark as Pule Mmodi picked off a low cutback from Ndwandwe and finished off from close-range.
AmaZulu were in desperate search of an equalizer minutes later from moves involving Brooks and Majoro, but Abafana Besthende remained calm and held on to their advantage.
Usuthu continued pursuing the leveller shortly after halftime and came close through a smart header at the near post by Gabadinho Mhango from a free-kick by Hanamub.
Thereafter, an offensive substitution from Usuthu came in Bonginkosi Ntuli and Sphesihle Maduna for Augustine Kwem and Majoro respectively.
A state of desperate defending from Arrows followed largely inspired by Usuthu’s substitutions, but they managed it and got Knox Mutizwa in possession and played out on the counter-attack.
Arrows continued to balance the play as well as the intensity of the match in the final stages and went on to collect their first win of the season.
AmaZulu: Mothwa, Sikhakhane, Hanamub, Gumede, Mphahlele, Brooks, Makhaula, Maluleka, Kwem, Mhango, Majore
Subs: Amonome, Zulu, Kunene, Khumalo, Buchanan, Magaqa, Zuma, Maduna, Ntuli
Golden Arrows: Gumede, Ndlovu , Nxadi, Zuke, Lunga, L.Dube, Dlamini , Mmodi, Sibiya, Ndwandwe , Mutizwa
Subs: Mbatha, Cele , Mantshiyane, Magawana, Fikizolo, Shitolo, Moon, Magubane, Khumalo