Swallows FC were held to a goalless draw by AmaZulu FC in a DStv Premiership match at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto.
Zukile Kewuti made his Usuthu debut after securing a loan move from Cape Town City, while Butholezwe Ncube, Siyethemba Sithebe, Andre de Jong were missing due to injury.
Thela Ngobeni retained his position in the Swallows goal after an impressive outing in the Nedbank Cup and Given Thibedi returned after recovering from a knock.
The draw saw the unbeaten Birds climb up to third place on the league standings, while Usuthu remained seventh on the log.
The match got off to a lively start with both teams launching attacks with Swallows goalkeeper Ngobeni denying Lehlohonolo Majoro in the first minute.
The Birds took control of the match towards the half-hour mark, but they were struggling to penetrate the Usuthu defence.
The two teams struggled to create goal-scoring opportunities after the restart and both sides gave away possession cheaply in the final third.
Zaphaniah Mbokoma and Musa Nyatama were introduced by Swallows head coach Brandon Truter in the 66th minute as the hosts looked to break the deadlock.
AmaZulu remained solid and compact at the back, and their head coach Benni McCarthy brought on Siphelele Mthembu, who is a striker by trade, with nine minutes left.
Mthembu was looking to use his imposing physique to unsettle the Birds' defence and grab a late winning goal for Usuthu.
However, Swallows were able to contain the experienced marksman in the dying minutes of the match and ultimately, the game ended in a goalless draw.
Swallows (0) 0
AmaZulu (0) 0
SWALLOWS: Ngobeni, Mere, Ngcobo, Letlabika, Matlaba, Mokoena, Mthethwa (Basadien 78'), Thibedi (Nyatama 66'), Sekgota (Mhlongo 83'), Mahlatsi (Mbokoma 66') Gamildien (Malinga 83').
AMAZULU: Mothwa, Sikhakhane (Mgwazela 46'), Mabiliso, Gumede, Xoki, Makhaula, Kewuti (Mzava 83'), Mlambo (Magubane 46'), Majoro (Mthembu 71'), Memela, Mulenga (Maduna 83').