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Bafana New Boys Take Down Uganda

Bafana Bafana came from a goal down as they turned things around in the second half to beat Uganda 3-2, as a new chapter for the national team began at the Orlando Stadium on Thursday evening.

The Bafana starting XI featured seven new caps with only Ronwen Williams, Innocent Maela and Lebohang Maboe having featured recently for Bafana. Bongokuhle Hlongwane, who has one international cap, featured in a CHAN qualifier two years ago against Lesotho.

And it was also a ‘debut’ for Helman Mkhalele, Bafana’s second assistant as he sat on the bench without new head coach Hugo Broos, who is getting his second vaccination shot in Belgium, and first assistant Cedomir Janevski, who tested positive for covid-19 earlier in the week.

Bafana Bafana 3-2 Uganda

After a bright start from the young Bafana team, it was Uganda who took the lead with a well worked goal on the counter attack in the 17th minute, as Ibrahim Orit did well to head in a good cross from Emmanuel Okwi at the far post.

It could have been another for the Cranes two minutes later but Okwi shot wide of Ronwen Williams’ goal.

The goal broke the rhythm of the South Africans, and boosted the confidence of the visitors. Just before the end of the first half Shafik Kagumu tested Williams with a long range effort, but the Bafana captain was up to the task.

At halftime Uganda led by the one goal, with the South Africans yet to register a shot at goal.

After the break Thabiso Kutumela and Evidence Makgopa came on, Makgopa the eighth new cap for Bafana in the game.

Innocent Maela got Bafana’s first shot at goal in the 48th minute, but Rashid Watenga made the save at the near post. Five minutes later Lebohang Maboe’s long range effort went wide of goal.

Makgopa scored on debut to equalise in the 62nd minute, finding the back of the net after getting to the end of a cross from fellow substitute Kutumela. 

Two minutes later Kutumela could have given Bafana the lead, but his shot lacked power and Watenga saved.

But Bafana were in the lead in the 67th minute, as Bongokuhle Hlongwane raced in from the wing, and his shot deflected past a diving Watenga, hit the upright and went in.

It could have been three in the 78th minute, but Watenga made an excellent save, making himself big to deny Makgopa another goal.

But it was 3-1 in the 81st minute, as the DStv Premiership young player of the season, Makgopa, made it a brace, with an excellent finish.

Uganda pulled one back in the 89th minute as Abdu Lumala scored from a corner, but it was to be just a consolation goal.

A great turn around in the second half, and a win for the new Bafana regime in their first game.

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