Not even the presence of superstars Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto'o could inspire Tukkies and AmaZulu who played to a goalless draw at Loftus Versfeld last night.
The two sides will meet again in the second leg of the Nnational First Division Platinum playoff in Durban on Sunday with the winner gaining promotion to the Premiership next season.
AmaTuks had the upper hand throughout the match but seemed to have left their scoring boots at home as they squandered countless scoring o[pportunities.
Adopting a 4-5-1 system with Dennis Lota as a lone striker, Usuthu did not even look like a side that played in a more competitive league last season.
Not even the introduction of South African Under-23 international Sibusiso Ntuli for Bayo Biyela in the 60th minute could change the complexion of the game.
In fact it was the Tshwane outfit who almost broke the deadlock three minutes later when George Maluleke narrowly shot wide with Tshepo Motsoeneng, the AmaZulu goalkeeper, all at sea.
AmaZulu pulled off Bulelani Matroos for the well travelled Tebogo Tsiu in the 72nd minute in an attempt to neutralise the marauding Tukkies in the middle of the park.
At the same time the home side, guided by former Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns defender, Sammy Troughton, introduced Fortune Ngwenya for ex-Majimbos defender Mark van Heerden.
In the 75th minute Motsoeneng once more denied AmaTuks a goal when he superbly fisted a thunderous shot from the troublesome Clifford Mulenga for a corner kick, but they failed to convert it.