at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Surprise Moriri and Teko Modise were on target for Mamelodi Sundowns as they defeated AmaZulu 2-0 in an Absa Premiership match at the Prince Magogo Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The result leaves the Brazilians in second place with 37 points from 20 matches, six points less than leaders Kaizer Chiefs, who have played one game less.
Usuthu remain in the top half of the table in seventh place with 28 points from 22 matches.
Tapuwa Kapini pulled off the first save of the match in the ninth minute, using both hands to parry a stinging effort from Tebogo Langerman.
However, Sundowns opened the scoring from the resulting corner with Moriri evading his marker to head home at the near post.
There were no clear-cut chances during the remainder of the half but Hlompho Kekana blasted a freekick over the crossbar in the 16th minute, while Marc Van Heerden did the same at the other end in the 40th minute.
Four minutes later Bonginkosi Macala delivered a cross from the right to pick out Ayanda Dlamini inside the box, but the latter rushed his header wide of the post.
Usuthu pushed forward early in the second half with Ayanda Dlamini setting the ball up for Van Heerden, who failed to keep his effort down.
Craig Rosslee’s side were caught on the break in the 76th minute as Lebohang Mokoena released Anthony Laffor on the left, who played a pinpoint cross for Modise to volley into an open net.
AmaZulu continued to push forward in the closing stages of the match and in the 82nd minute Ayanda Dlamini saw his shot from a tight angle pushed wide by Wayne Sandilands.
Sundowns then struggled to clear their lines three minutes later following a freekick, but Ayanda Dlamini was denied by another solid save from Sandilands as Sundowns held on for the 2-0 win.
Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 2 (Moriri 10’, Modise 78’)
AmaZulu: Kapini, Macala, V Heerden, Mwedihanga, Nyadombo, Madondo (Cele 87’), Arwuah, Mthiyane (Manqana 46’), Zondi (Liphoko 67’), Dlamini G, Dlamini A
Mamelodi Sundowns: Sandilands, Langerman (Mashaba 69’), Sumaila, Nthethe, Mphahlele, Zungu, Moriri (Mokoena 65’), Modise, Kekana, Ramagalela (Laffor 46’), Pelembe – Backpage Media