JOHANNESBURG – A new-look Bafana Bafana came from behind to beat Uganda 3-2 in an international friendly played at Orlando Stadium on Thursday evening.
Rushine De Reuck, Denwin Farmer, Sibusiso Mabiliso, Nkosinathi Sibisi, Craig Martin, Ethan Brooks, Sphelele Mkhulise and Bongokuhle Hlongwane were all given their international debut, while Ronwen Williams captained the side.
Bafana were energetic from the get go, but trailed on 17 minutes after Ibrahim Orit sneaked in at the back-post to head a right-sided delivery past goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.
The Cranes closed in to a second within the matter of minutes through skipper Emmanuel Okwi, who robbed Martin from possession to go clear before going wide of the mark in the end.
Okwi was clean through again a little later after working an angle from a tight angle on the right, but he watched his shot deflect behind for a corner-kick.
Bafana remained under pressure in the last minute before halftime with a first-time strike from Shafiq Kagimu following a corner, but Williams saved.
Following a disjointed first half, Bafana installed changes in Thabiso Kutumela and Evidence Makgopa who replaced Farmer and Sibisi respectively.
Makgopa went and capped his debut in style 15 minutes from the restart as he attacked a left-footed delivery from Kutumela to beat goalkeeper Rashid Watenga from the near post.
Bafana completed a total turnaround five minutes thereafter through Hlongwane who darted in from out wide to see his strike deflect past Watenga.
Makgopa snatched a brace with eight minutes to go after he evaded one challenge in the area to drill home a dummy from Brooks.
Uganda pulled a fight back three minutes from time when Abdu Lumala applied a snap finish in the area from a corner past Williams, but it was too little too late as Bafana claimed the win.