The Benni McCarthy-era at AmaZulu began in impressive fashion as Usuthu came back from a goal down to beat Chippa United 3-1 at Kings Park.
DURBAN – AmaZulu FC thrashed Chippa United 3-1 in the DStv Premiership match at Kings Park Stadium in Durban on Sunday afternoon.
The victory took Usuthu to the eighth spot on the league standings, while the Chilli Boys remained 14th on the log.
The Chilli Boys contained Usuthu in the opening stages of the match and the visitors managed to score first after the hosts failed to clear their lines.
Isaac Nhlapo curled the ball into the far-post beating AmaZulu goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha hands down to make it 1-0 to Chippa in the 14th minute.
Usuthu then took control of the match with Augustine Mulenga looking lively and the Zambia international levelled matters six minutes before the half-hour mark.
Siphelele Mthembu delivered a low cross which was turned home by Mulenga to make it 1-1 with the Chippa defence exposed.
Mulenga then turned provider as he set-up his former Orlando Pirates teammate Luvuyo Memela on the edge on of the Chilli Boys box. Memela then burst into the box, before beating Chippa keeper Ayanda Mtshali with a well-taken shot to make it 2-1 to AmaZulu in the 29th minute.
Chippa tried to respond with a goal, but AmaZulu stood firm at the back until the match referee blew the halftime whistle and the hosts were leading 2-1 at the interval.
It was end-to-end stuff after the restart as second-half substitute Tebogo Qinisile was magnificently denied by Mbatha from point-blank range.
Almost immediately at the other end, AmaZulu extended their lead when Mulenga played a pass to Memela, who finished brilliantly to make it 3-1 to the hosts in the 55th minute.
The Chilli Boys pushed forward in numbers as they looked to level matters and Thabiso Lebitso forced Mbatha into a fine save just after the hour-mark.
The visitors looked vulnerable at the back whenever they attacked and they nearly conceded when Talent Chawapiwa was sent through on goal.
However, Mtshali came out and pulled off a great save to deny the Zimbabwe international from a one-on-one situation with eight minutes left.
The late save ensured that the game ended in a 3-1 victory in favour of AmaZulu, who were able to contain Chippa in the closing stages of the match.