Moroka Swallows registered their second successive league win after beating AmaZulu 2-1 in a Absa Premiership clash at the Dobsonville Stadium on Wednesday night.
Hosts Swallows were coming off a big away victory against their traditional rivals Orlando Pirates, while AmaZulu had been held to a goalless draw by Ajax Cape Town over the weekend.
The match began at a high tempo, with AmaZulu showing signs of urgency on the ball in the first 15 minutes, and they created two glorious opportunities within that period.
The first chance of the match fell for AmaZulu forward Ruzaigh Gamildien on the edge of the Swallows box, but he ballooned his effort over the cross bar in the third minute.
Four minutes later, Usuthu hard-tackling midfielder Khulekani Madondo's through pass found striker Bongani Ndulula unmarked inside the Swallows box.
The former Orlando Pirates hitman tried to chip the ball over on advancing Birds keeper Greg Etafia, but the Nigerian shot-stopper was equal to the task.
Swallows were dealt a major blow in the 20th minute, when their inspirational captain Lefa Tsutsulupa got seriously injured. The 34-year-old midfieder was then replaced by Birds talisman Lerato Chabangu.
Substutute Chabangu made an instant impact when his curling free-kick from the left, met Swallows defender Luvhengo Mungomeni's head inside the AmaZulu box.
The former Mamelodi Sundowns centre-back connected well with the ball, and it sailed into the back of the net a minute after the half-hour mark.
AmaZulu nearly grabbed the equalizer from just inside the Birds the box, when forward Goodman Dlamini played a square pass to midfielder Madondo, whose attempt at goal was deflected outside for a corner-kick with three minutes left on the clock.
In the second-half, AmaZulu again were the better side in the opening stages. Gamildien's snap shot from the edge of the Birds box forced keeper Etafia into a good low save in the 55th minute.
The visitors found the equalizing goal in the 61st minute ,when Usuthu forward Dlamin made a good run into the box, and he finished brilliantly with his left foot to silence the small crowd inside the Dobsonville Stadium.
Swallows responded almost immediately via Birds vice-captain Chabangu, whose powerful low effort from 20 yards beat Kapuwa Kapini in the AmaZulu goal, to make it 2-1 to Swallows.
The following chance fell for Usuthu dribbling wizard Phulani Shange, who was unmarked in the box in the 70th minute.
But the former Lamontville Golden Arrows midfieder struck a low effort to keeper Etafia and the shot-stopper easily gathered the tame shot.
AmaZulu continued to search for the equalizer. However, the Birds backline stood firm against countless AmaZulu attacks, with keeper Etafia well guarded by his defence.
In the end, Swallows won 2-1 and collected maximum points in a cold night at the Dobsonville Stadium.