This Absa Premiership tie was characterized by a lot of dangerous tackles, which led to multiple stoppages and the most concerning one was when Usuthu goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha, who was fouled by Lebogang Maboe but he managed to soldier on.
Referee Jelly Chavani had stopped the game for lengthy periods and Downs coach Pitso Mosimane expected that the fourth official, Cliford Motaung, would hoist up his board showing a huge chunk of minutes but Motaung’s board only read five minutes and Mosimane charged towards him asking for at least 10 minutes to be added on.
Soon after, a fuming Mosimane instantly became a jubilant man when Ali Meza scored what would be the winning goal in the first half stoppage time after Andile Jali’s crisp pass found Sibusiso Vilakazi who chest-trapped the ball before giving it to Meza on a silver-platter and the Venezuelan finished off the move.
At the start of the second stanza Usuthu shot-stopper Mbatha did not return to the pitch as he seemingly could not continue following what looked like a slight concussion in the first-half. Matthew Boshoff was his replacement and he made his fourth appearance of the season.
AmaZulu coach Jozef Vukusic brought on Ovidy Karuru in Tsepo Masilela’s place as he looked for the equaliser.
Mosimane also made changes of his own and the first was giving Aubrey Ngoma a rear appearance as the 30-year-old played an official game for the first time this season. Before he could even get his first touch of the ball, he was welcomed with a headbutt from AmaZulu’s Phumlani Gumede and he went down casting some doubt on whether he would continue playing. However the former Cape Town City winger was good and well to go.
Downs now moved to within seven points of log leaders Kaizer Chiefs who will look to extend their lead tonight against Stellenbosch while Downs will begin their Caf Champions League group stages this weekend with a visit by Angolan side Petro Atletico.