|Ayanda Dlamini © Backapagepix
Three goals in the second half saw AmaZulu beat Black Leopards 4-1 in an Absa Premiership match at the Giyani Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Goals from Marc Van Heerden, Tangeni Shipahu, Ayanda and Goodman Dlamini sealed the victory for Usuthu which lifted the Durban club up to seventh on the log.
The first 45 minutes was a half characterised by some poor passing and wasteful shooting in the final third of the field by both teams.
The visitors certainly started the better of the two teams, but they were unable to break down a resolute Leopards defence and consequently had to shoot from long range.
In the 13th minute Kagiso Senamela came close to finding the opening goal when he saw his 25-yard thunderbolt skim the top side of the crossbar.
Three minutes later, though, and Marc Van Heerden did manage to find the target for Usuthu.
The AmaZulu player gave his side the lead, perfectly placing a 20-yard free-kick into the corner of the goal, 1-0.
The home side, though, were not to be out done and quickly fought back, finding the equaliser 12 minutes later.
The goal also came from distance as Luyolo Mapolisa drilled a left-footed 18-yard shot into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal to level matters, 1-1.
The rest of the half saw neither side really able to create any more chances in front of goal and the teams entered the break all square.
The second half saw Leopards start the brighter of the two sides and they were bitterly unlucky not to take the lead in the 60th minute.
Tapuwa Kapini, between the sticks for AmaZulu, did brilliantly flinging himself across the face of his goal to tip a powerful 30-yard shot from Mapolisa over the crossbar.
Three minutes later and Leopards saw their positive start and good work at the start of the second half undone when they conceded their second goal of the afternoon.
Shipahu scored the goal with a mishit shot that deceived the keeper and found the back of the net, 2-1.
After going in front, somewhat against the run of play, AmaZulu gained the ascendancy and took control of the match.
Ayanda Dlamini put the result beyond doubt when he scored the Durban-based teams third goal in the 74th minute.
The Usuthu man wrapped up a swift passing movement by his team with a clinical finish from just inside the box, 3-1.
Goodman Dlamini added the icing on the cake with his sides fourth goal in stoppage time to seal victory for AmaZulu, 4-1.
The result sees the KZN team move up to seventh on the log while Black Leopards are now only one point above Santos on the log after the Cape-town based team beat Kaizer Chiefs at the same time.
Black Leopards (1) 1 (Mapolisa 28)
AmaZulu (1) 4 (Van Heerden 16, Shipahu 63, A Dlamini 74, G. Dlamini 91)
Leopards: Maluleke; Dzaga, Mabusela, Xakane, Khoza, Bobe, Duiker, Mapholisa, Zulu (Madimba 77), Monama (Manaka 68), Ramagalela (Nkhatha 68)
AmaZulu: Kapini; Mokoro, Van Heerden, Nyadombo, Teyise, Kgatla, Senamela, A. Dlamini, Shipahu (Zhuwawo 74), Thwala (G. Dlamini 64), Lekata (Mbhele 53)