The win was just a second league win of the season for the Glamor Boys, who have climbed to 10 points in 10 appearances this season.
The only goal in a close game was scored after just 10 minutes by Samir Nurkovic, making his first league start for Amakhosi after scoring for them last season with 13 goals.
In what was a quick start to the game, AmaZulu got the clear first chance when Augustine Mulenga cut inside the box, but then fired his left-footed shot from just outside the far post at six minutes.
Four minutes later, it was the Chiefs who took the lead, when Dumisani Zuma whipped up a cross that was deflected to his own goal by midfielder AmaZulu Siyethemba Sithebe, the ball falling gently for Nurkovic who reacted sharply to pass it past Veli Mothwa and into the net. .
The game remained open and entertaining, with the game going from start to finish, with the hosts having the next scoring opportunity when Siphelele Mthembu netted a header on goal, but his half-hour effort largely scored.
Usuthu, who was enjoying significantly more possession in the opening stanza, increased the pressure over the next few minutes with several balls in Amakhosi’s box, but the visiting team defended well to keep their goal intact.
The game also got more physical and five yellow cards were handed out in the first half alone, including one each to Nurkovic and Tapelo Xoki after a 43rd-minute altercation that nearly ended in trades.
The second half continued in much the same way as the first after the interval, with a lot of effort and commitment, without many chances in both boxes thanks to strong defense from both. sides.
After Mulenga and Nurkovic failed to threaten their efforts at either end, AmaZulu nearly equaled when Xoki’s header on a Sithebe free-kick in the 63rd minute flew just inches from Daniel Akpeyi’s goal.
Three minutes later, Nurkovic missed a great opportunity to double the lead by heading straight for Usuthu Mothwa’s keeper after a cross from Zuma.
The next clear opening fell to KwaZulu-Natal’s side in the 77th minute when after a nice build-up, Lehlohonolo Majoro, just as a substitute, shot towards goal, but the former Chiefs and Orlando pirates the attacker sent his effort directly to Akpeyi.
Pressure continued to build from AmaZulu, but they couldn’t properly test Akpeyi as Limbikani Mzava missed an effort while Majoro sent a header well over the bar.
As the game moved into extra time, the Chiefs had chances to add to the tally, but neither Lazarous Kambole nor Nurkovic were able to capitalize.
There was to be a late scare for Amakhosi when Xoki scrambled the ball into the net in the 96th minute, but his effort was ruled out for an offense on Akpeyi.