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Durban - Ayanda Dlamini scored the only goal to help struggling AmaZulu move off the foot of the Premiership table with a narrow 1-0 Premiership victory over Golden Arrows in the Durban derby at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi, outside Durban, on Saturday.
The winner came on the hour mark when the Usuthu striker curled into the top corner after wasting several clear-cut openings along with his team-mates during the first half.
The first away victory of the season, ended an eight-match winless run for AmaZulu and also enabled them to leapfrog Chippa United into 15th place.
Abafana Bes’thende, meanwhile, remained in 11th place.
At the start, both sides made lively starts with the visitors noticeably playing with a spring in their step.
They had the first real chance in the 18th minute when Dlamini was picked out by left-winger Njabulo Manqana, but the ball was headed over.
At the other end, Thamsanqa Gabuza had Arrows’ first chance when he collected on the left side of the box and forced Tapuwa Kapini to parry away an angled attempt.
However, Usuthu were still posing plenty of questions going forward and the lively Thokozani Mshengu then quickly got behind his marker on the right flank and squared to Andile Khumalo, who wastefully shot over from inside the box.
Moments later Manqana failed to hit the target when Dlamini set him up for an open 12-yard shot that flew into the stands.
There was no letting up by Craig Rosslee’s men, though, and they should have at least taken one of two big chances in the final 10 minutes before the interval.
First Dlamini somehow fired over from two yards out after Pavels Steinbors could only parry Mshengu’s right-side cross into his path.
The AmaZulu striker was then played through one-on-one by his same team-mate only for his initial shot to be excellently saved by Steinbors standing up tall, with defender Ritus Krjauklis then clearing on the goal-line.
Arrows improved after the break and Gabuza almost opened the scoring when he broke free from his marker and shot first time, although the attempt was off target despite Kapini being off his line.
Just before the hour mark, Mshengu again caused havoc on the right and crossed low across the face of goal, only for Khumalo to inexplicably lift over.
But there was no denying Dlamini after 60 minutes when he collected a fine ball on the left over the top from Manqana, opened his body nicely and fired his cross-goal shot into the top right corner.
Arrows responded immediately with substitute Tshepo Liphoko’s cross-shot pushed onto the crossbar by Kapini.
In injury time, Kapini pulled off a stunning save to keep out Bovu’s point-blank header after a fine Liphoko cross from the right as Usuthu held on. - Sapa