Cape Town - Orlando Pirates recorded their fourth consecutive Absa Premiership win on Saturday as they beat AmaZulu 1-0 in a keenly contested clash at the Orlando Stadium.
Usuthu looked strong in the early exchanges and caused real problems for the Pirates defence. Sibusiso Mabiliso whipped in a low cross from the left flank and almost found Bongi Ntuli, but the ball was just beyond his reach.
The away side were on the attack again 10 minutes later as Siphelele Magubane curled a shot from the edge of the Bucs area, but it went wide of the far post.
At the other end of the pitch Pirates had their only real chance of the first half when Fortune Makaringe played the ball through for Luvuyo Memela to run onto. However, Siyabonga Mbatha came out quickly to smother the shot.
Ntuli showed off his strength for as the AmaZulu forward chested the ball down from a throw-in, turned, and then beat two defenders to break through on goal but a last-ditch tackle denied him.
Usuthu looked good on the attack once again as Sphesihle Maduna drove forward towards the byline before pulling the ball back for Siyethemba Sithebe to put his foot through, but it went straight at Wayne Sandilands.
Despite AmaZulu creating the majority of the chances in the opening half, it was Josef Zinnbauer's charges who found the back of the opposition's net in the 52nd minute. Thembinkosi Lorch received the ball in space on the right wing and crossed towards Vincent Pule who made a fantastic run towards the near post before finding home from close range.
Pirates took control of the game as the second half progressed and created numerous chances to double their lead. Bucs counter-attacked with pace as AmaZulu tried to press forward in search of the equaliser.
The home team came within inches of scoring their second in the 66th minute when Sam drove deep into the AmaZulu box before rattling the near post with a shot from a tight angle.
Shortly thereafter another chance fell for Zinnbauer's men as Makaringe found space to shoot, but Mbatha made a great save low to his left to keep Usuthu in the game.
Yet another chance arrived for Pirates in the last few minutes as Memela whipped in a free kick from the left flank towards the near post where Gabadinho Mhango made a great connection with his head. Man-of-the-match Mbatha made another top stop to deny the hosts their second but they nonetheless came out on top in the end with a 1-0 victory - their fourth on the trot.