AmaZulu have done the improbable. Benni McCarthy has taken Usuthu from obscurity five months ago to the summit of the DStv Premiership.
Usuthu climbed to the top in fine style when they edged rivals Golden Arrows 1-0 in the KwaZulu-Natal derby at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Durban yesterday.
Playmaker Luvuyo Memela struck just before half-time. It was an entertaining afternoon of football as both teams looked to demonstrate who reigns supreme in the province. However, the encounter was not just a regional clash.
It was a game with national implications.
With 50 points from 26 games, Usuthu have now eclipsed Mamelodi Sundowns at the top, leading the defending champions by two points. However, Downs have three games in hand.
AmaZulu are on an incredible 16-match unbeaten run in the league. In those games, they have won 11 and drawn five.
The PSL has been crying for genuine title contenders from outside Gauteng as the dominance of teams from the province has sometimes made the league race a bit predictable. The last time a team from another province won the league title was 20 years ago, when Santos claimed the bragging rights in 2001.
Arrows and AmaZulu have provided great entertainment and a break from the monotony in a season that has been without fans because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 28 days’ time, the destiny of the inaugural DStv Premiership will be known. The final day of the season is May 29.
It will be an interesting finish. The remaining games will either see Sundowns win their record-extending 11th title or a surprise winner will emerge.