Kaizer Chiefs secured their second DStv Premiership win of the season as they beat AmaZulu 1-0 at Kings Park Stadium this afternoon.
Samir Nurkovic bagged the all-important goal in his first start of the season to give Chiefs their first victory in eight league matches.
The result sees the Amakhosi break a seven-game winless streak which stretched back to October and rise to 10th place on the log, putting a buffer of four points between themselves and the relegation zone. Usuthu remain in ninth place on 10 points, now ahead of Chiefs only on goal difference.
AmaZulu were lucky not to be reduced to 10 men in the early minutes when Thembela Sikhakhane was guilty of a nasty challenge on Happy Mashiane, which saw the Chiefs man stretchered off though fortunately he was able to recover and continue playing.
Chiefs were the first to shuffle their pack in the second half, replacing Mashiane (who finally succumbed to the various knocks he suffered) with Lazarous Kambole, but it was the team in green which enjoyed early dominance after the restart.
AmaZulu also looked to shake things up when Luvoyo Memela rose off the bench to replace Xola Mlambo just after the hour mark, and they nearly levelled the game a short while later with a glancing header from Xoki which flashed just wide of the target.
Usuthu continued to push and probe in attack, but a breakthrough never arrived for the hosts, allowing Chiefs to claim a three-pointer which will come as a huge relief given their struggling campaign thus far.
The teams will return to DStv Premiership action this coming weekend, with Chiefs visiting Cape Town City on Saturday 16 January and AmaZulu hosting KwaZulu-Natal rivals Maritzburg United the following day.
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 1 (Nurkovic 11’)
AmaZulu: Mothwa, Sikhakhane, Xoki, Mzava, Gumede, Mlambo (Memela 61’), Makhaula (Ncube 82’), Sithebe, Mulenga, Chawapiwa (Majoro 75’), Mthembu
Chiefs: Akpeyi, Ngezana (Ngcobo 89’), Mphahlele, Cardoso, Zulu, Zuma (Moleko 89’), Matsheke (Baccus 74’), Agay, Mashiane (Kambole 50’), Parker (Blom 74’) Nurkovic.