Mbulelo Mabizela scored the only goal of the game as Usuthu earned a vital three points to keep up their hopes of beating the drop.
The result saw Usuthu close the gap to just two points between themselves, Ea Lla Koto and Moroka Swallows who are 14th and 15th respectively on the Absa Premiership log.
“They put up a good fight,” conceded Phiri, “we didn’t even think we are going to lose this game. I think with the chances that we had in the second half we should have come back into the game.
“It is just unfortunate. We are just unlucky. It’s not that they played the game to win, they were not supposed to win this match. But, there’s nothing more to say, we look forward to the next game that is coming.
“We are going to fight back, we are still in the race.”
Ea Lla Koto face Ajax Cape Town in their next match as they look to avoid the relegation zone and Phiri said he still believes that the team will fight until the last match of the season.
“We have a good team,” said Phiri.
“This team is better than last year’s, they can still fight and come back properly. We just look at the next game that is coming, we get some points there and we will come out of the relegation zone.”