Thembela Sikhakhane of AmaZulu FC and Sinethemba Jantjie of Free State Stars FC compete for the ball during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between AmaZulu and Free State Stars at King Zwelithini Stadium, Durban on 19 August 2017 © Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix
Saturday Aug 19, 2017. 17:15
AmaZulu overcame Free State Stars 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday.
As a result, Usuthu marked their return to the elite league with a victory thanks to captain Tapelo Nyongo's well taken penalty.
Usuthu suffered a blow just 13 minutes into the match as their new signing Sadat Ouro-Akoriko was red-carded.
The giant Togolese international was sent for a dangerous tackle on Stars centre forward Allen Nono.
Nono, who hails from Gabon, was replaced by debutant Siphelele Mthembu 11 minutes later due to an injury.
Despite being one man short, Usuthu played good football - pushing forward as they looked to break the deadlock.
AmaZulu managed to contain Stars until the match referee blew the half-time break and the score was at half-time.
Stars pressed AmaZulu after the restart as they looked to break the deadlock, but the home side were dangerous on the counter-attack.
The visitors also lost a man in the late stages of the match as Sifiso Mbhele was red carded for a dangerous tackle on Thembela Sikhakhane.
AmaZulu winger Ovidy Karuru was then brought down in the Stars box and the referee did not hestitate to point on the penalty spot.
Tapelo Nyongo converted from the from spot-kick in the 87th minute and AmaZulu emerged 1-0 winners.
AmaZulu (0) 1 (Nyongo 87')
FS Stars (0) 0
AmaZulu: Pule, Mtsweni, Ouro-Akoriko, Sikhakhane, Nyongo, Morton, Darpoh, Zungu (Mngqibisa 67'), Karuru, Ramphele (L.Dlamini 79'), Khenyeza.
FS Stars: Sangare, Masehe, Mahamutsa, Mbhele, Jantjie, Mashego, Teyise, Vilakazi, Venter, Dlamini (Hlubi 59'), Nono (Mthembu 24').