The returning Samir Nurkovic netted an early goal to guide Kaizer Chiefs to a tight 1-0 win over AmaZulu as Amakhosi snapped their seven-game winless streak.
With both Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro missing through injury, Gavin Hunt would have been pleased to be able to welcome back Samir Nurkovic to the starting lineup for the first time this season. Philani Zulu, Dumisani Zuma and Happy Mashiane were also brought into the team following the loss to Maritzburg United.
After a frantic opening 10 minutes, when AmaZulu were lucky not to be reduced to 10 men, Nurkovic showed his quality pouncing on a poor touch from Siyethemba Sithebe, which fell to him in the six-yard area, sweeping the ball home with an instinctual first-time strike.
The Serbian’s work rate was proving to be a shining example for a fired-up Chiefs side.
Usuthu, though, were not just going to sit back and went in search of an equaliser and came closest with 30 minutes gone, but Siphelele Mthembu’s header flashed across the face of Daniel Akpeyi’s goal.
Hunt’s men then went close to doubling their lead two minutes before the break but Veli Mothwa was equal to Zuma’s curling effort.
Chiefs were looking to give nothing away in heading into the second half and went in search of a second, with Anthony Akumu Agay heading over from a corner kick 10 minutes after the restart.
Benni McCarthy’s men continued to search for a way back into the game and came close as Tapelo Xoki’s header narrowly missed the bottom corner.
Nurkovic, then, should have wrapped things up for the Soweto giants late in the game as Zuma picked him out at the back post, but Mothwa was quick off his line to make a smart save.
While Usuthu continued to search for a leveller, it was not to be as Amakhosi held on for a massive three points to pick up just their second win of the season.
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