Pressure is mounting to coach Romain Folz after AmaZulu lost 2-0 to Royal AM in the KwaZulu-Natal derby at Chatsworth Stadium on Sunday.
Usuthu did not lay a meaningful punch on Royal AM, who deserved to win the game as they dominated the first half.
Motebang Sera’s header in the first half when he was unchallenged for the free kick in the 12th minute decided the KZN affair. Mxolisi Macuphu added the second later, tucking home in the 85th minute after he was picked out by Menzi Masuku.
The win sees Royal AM jump from 12th in the table to fifth with 20 points after half way season gone.
AmaZulu, who were ninth before the game, dropped to the 11th spot, putting pressure on coach Folz.
The former Marumo Gallants coach started up top with new signing Junior Dion having joined the club in this January transfer window from Gallants. However, the ball was not sticking to the Ivorian as he was well marshaled by Royal AM defence.
Sera rose highest unmarked to guide the ball in from the free kick of veteran winger Elias Pelembe early in the first half. It was a deserved lead for AM.
The ball was not sticking for AmaZulu as they were hurried by the Royal AM side that was also desperate to get back to winning ways.
A moment later Ricardo Nascimento almost caught Veli Mothwa with a quick snap free kick but the former Chippa United goalie stretched himself to produce a big save. Usuthu was still flat in the entire half, struggling to build something good.
Hendrick Ekstein also made his first start for Usuthu after he was banished to train with the reserve side in the first six months, but AmaZulu struggled to create something meaningful, though he was lively.
Folz made two alterations before the second half started, looking to get back into the game.
He took off Gabadinho Mhango and Rally Bwalya, replacing them with Lehlohonolo Majoro and Thabo Qalinge as the visitors were way off the pace in the first half.
Qalinge, who just like Ekstein was banished to train with the reserve side, was making his first appearance this season for Usuthu.
However, Macuphu put the game beyond doubt to score the second before regulation time to bring a big smile to club boss Shauwn Mkhize in the stands.
Again Khabo Zondo was not part of Royal AM’s technical team as he has been demoted to the club development, with Abran Nteo running things solo.
It was Zondo’s second game as he also missed the draw against TS Galaxy, though the club has officially not said a thing.