Mamelodi Sundowns suffered their first defeat of the season after they conceded a narrow 1-0 defeat to AmaZulu in their DStv Premiership encounter at the Jonsson Kings Park Stadium on Monday evening.
The Brazilians came into his game without the services of Lebohang Maboe, Thabiso Kutumela, Divine Lunga, Haashim Domingo, Mosa Lebusa and Grant Kekena, who have all been ruled out for the match.
Sundowns got off to a bright start and had an early chance to take the lead after two minutes but Siphelele Mkhulise’s shot just missed the target.
The visitors had another chance to break the deadlock in the 15th minute when Themba Zwane cut in from the left before he tried to pick out Pavol Safranko in the box, the ball almost reached the striker but the Usuthu defenders intervenes.
Denis Onyango was called into action in the 19th minute after he made a fine block to deny Thabo Qalinge’s effort from distance.
Sundowns were then dealt a major blow four minutes later when Mothobi Mvala was brought on to replace the injured Rivaldo Coetzee, but both teams pressed forward in the closing minutes of the game as it went into the break locked at goalless.
Onyango was called into action early in the second half when he rushed off his line to nullify an AmaZulu through ball at the edge of the area.
Ricardo Nascimento should have handed Sundowns the lead in the 62nd minute but the defenders glancing header sailed inches wide of hitting the back of the net.
Despite Sundowns’ onslaughts of attacks, it was Usuthu who took the lead in the 75th minute when Augustine Mulenga calmly slotted the ball past Onyango just seconds after coming on as a substitute.
After going a goal down, Sundowns decided to make a change in the attack two minutes later as Sphelele Mkhulise was taken off and replaced by Neo Maema.
Peter Shalulile and Safranko both had opportunities to level matters in the 84 and 86th minute but the Usuthu defenders did well to clear the ball away from danger before it could reach the designated targets.
However, Amazulu managed to hold on to their narrow lead over Sundowns until the final whistle to hand their defending champions their first defeat in 25 matches.
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