First league win for Usuthu
AmaZulu’s long wait for an Absa Premiership victory is over, after new coach Steve Barker guided them to a 2-1 win over his former team, University of Pretoria, on Tuesday.
Usuthu triumphed at Princess Magogo Stadium thanks to goals from Sadate Ouro Akoriko and Bornwell Mwape either side of half time, while Geoffrey Massa reduced the deficit after coming off the bench to set up a tense end to the match for the home side.
Tuks created the first half-chances of the match, with Atusaye Nyondo unable to test goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini from shots in the ninth and tenth minutes.
AmaZulu had to wait until midway through the first half to have their first shot in anger, with Nhlanhla Shabalala putting a long range effort over the crossbar.
On 25 minutes defender Robyn Johannes got on the end of a free kick and powered a header on target, but it was straight at Tuks goalkeeper Washington Arubi.
By now the home side was dominating proceedings and Bafana Bafana striker Bongani Ndulula was granted two chances in the 36th and 38th minutes, but he was unable to hit the target from either.
However, on 40 minutes, AmaZulu deservedly claimed the lead. A free kick into the penalty area resulted in a goalmouth scramble and Sadate Ouro-Akoriko was able to score with a left-footed shot.
Leading 1-0 at the restart, Usuthu’s lead was almost cancelled out just four minutes into the second half. A Tuks free kick saw Thabo Mnyamane shoot for goal from 25 metres out and strike the crossbar.
In the 52nd minute AmaZulu doubled their advantage. Shange provided the assist and Bornwell Mwape was able to fire home from close range to make it 2-0.
Tuks responded by making a double change, sending on Geoffrey Massa and Lucky Mathosi in an attempt to get back into the game.
And the gamble paid quick dividends, with Massa scoring direct from a free kick midway through the second half to make it 2-1 and put AmaTuks back in contention.
AmaZulu (1) 2 (Ouro-Akoriko 40’, Mwape 52’)
University of Pretoria (0) 1 (Massa 67’)