Bafana youngsters dig deep to bury Uganda

Menzi Magubane

Bafana Bafana’s first match in the era of new head coach Hugo Broos produced a 3-2 defeat for Uganda in an international friendly at Orlando Stadium, in Sowetgo on Thursday night. 

The new-look Bafana were led by second assistant coach Helman Mkhalele after Broos had to return home to Belgium to get the Covid-19 vaccine. Broos’s first assistant Cedomir Janevski was meant to sit with Mkhalele in the dugout but on Wednesday he had to quarantine himself after he displayed coronavirus symptoms. 

Mkhalele will take the credit for Thursday’s win. His young Bafana dug deep to come up tops. 

They went to half-time trailing 1-0 after Ibrahim Orit’s header beat goalkeeper and captain of the day Ronwen Williams early in the first half. Mkhalele made a brave move in the second half introducing two strikers and sacrificing two defenders.

He brought in Evidence Makgopa and Thabiso Kutumela foe Denwin Farmer and Nkosinathi Sibisi. The pair were quick to make their presence felt with Makgopa grabbing his first goal for the national team to equalise for Bafana. 

The home team turned things around with Bongokuhle Hlongwane grabbing his first goal for the team to make it 2-1 for Bafana. The Baroka FC attacker Makgopa finished his brace when he put the game beyond the Cranes’ reach to make it 3-1 for the home team. 

A lapse in concentration at the back for Bafana allowed Abdul Lumala to score a second for Uganda but Bafana managed to hold on to their lead and win the match. 

The two nations were warming up for their respective upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers that are scheduled for September. 

These qualifiers were initially set to begin in June but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the African Football Body decided to postpone them. 

Picture source:@bafanabafana