Bafana Bafana are back in action since the disappointing outing in March when they failed to make it for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations

South Africa begin their first step of their bid to qualify for the 2022 Fifa World Cup when they host Uganda in an international friendly match at Orlando Stadium on Thursday.

It is a new era for Bafana Bafana who are now under new coach Hugo Broos who will, however, now be available for Thursday’s encounter as he is in his native Belgium receiving a second Covid-19 jab.

Coaching responsibilities against the Cranes are on assistant coach Helman Mkhalele.

After South Africa agonisingly failed to qualify for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations finals under Molefi Ntseki, Broos came in and has started a fresh project with younger players targeting qualification for the World Cup although he has tried to lower expectations on this bid.

The national team last qualified for the quadrennial global football tournament in 2002 but participated at the 2010 edition as hosts.

They now seek a return to the World Cup and the Uganda friendly is the first step before they travel to Harare to face Zimbabwe in the qualifiers proper in September, before hosting Ghana a few days later.

Their opponents Uganda are also getting ready to begin their qualifying campaign, for a maiden appearance at the World Cup.

Game South Africa vs Uganda
Date Thursday, June 10
Time 18:00 SA Time

TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch

Squads & Team News

Percy Tau, Bafana Bafana, October 2020

The South African camp has been blighted by cases of the coronavirus and a number of injuries ruling out players ahead of Thursday’s match.
Headlining the absentees is Brighton & Hove Albion attacker Percy Tau who tested positive for Covid-19.
In a similar situation as Tau is Teboho Mokoena while his SuperSport United midfield partner Sipho Mbule was excused from camp after being in contact with Mokoena.
On Wednesday, first assistant coach Cedomir Janevski also tested positive and will not be at Orlando Stadium, leaving Mkhalele to head the technical team.
Also ruled out of this match is the Mamelodi Sundowns trio of Rivaldo Coetzee, Mosa Lebusa and Mothobi Mvala while Orlando Pirates’ Thabang Monare is doubtful with a hamstring strain.
This saw adjustments to the team with Premier Soccer League Defender of the Season Njabulo Ngcobo, the Baroka FC duo of defender Denwin Farmer and forward Evidence Makgopa as well as teenage midfielder Ethan Brooks of TS Galaxy receiving maiden call-ups.
There were also late call-ups of Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Njabulo Blom and Sundowns’ Sphelele Mkhulise who was spotted training with the team on Wednesday.
Uganda train 2021.
Caretaker coach Abdallah Mubiru arrived in Johannesburg with familiar faces including new captain Emmanuel Okwi, Murushid Juuko, Moses Waiswa while Chippa United goalkeeper Ismael Watenga will be in known territory.
Mubiru also promoted five Under-20 players Abdul Kayondo, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Isma Mugulusi, Steven Sserwadda, and Derrick Kakooza to the senior team.

Match Preview

This is a battle of teams nursing wounds from their failures to qualify for the next Afcon finals and are seeking a reprieve with World Cup qualification.

While Bafana are starting afresh under Broos, Uganda are also seeking to begin on a clean slate although they are still under an interim coach.

Uganda begin life without former captain and goalkeeper Denis Onyango as well as Hassan Wasswa who both retired in April.

They are also moving on without ex-coach John McKinstry who parted with the team in the wake of Afcon qualification failure.

The Cranes have not tasted victory in their last five games which reads three defeats and two draws, while Bafana have not won in their last two matches inside a five-game schedule in which they have managed two victories, a draw and two losses.

Thursday’s match will the fourth meeting between the two sides and South Africa have dominated previous encounters since their first clash in 2004 when a Benni McCarthy penalty saw Bafana edge the Cranes 1-0 in a 2006 Fifa World Cup qualifier in Kampala.

The reverse fixture had Bafana winning 2-1 at FNB Stadium in March 2005.

It took 14 years for the two sides to meet again and it was South Africa who came out victorious at the 2019 Cosafa Cup tournament where Uganda were guest participants.

A Bafana squad predominantly composed of Under-23 players beat the Cranes 4-2 on penalties in the plate semi-finals after the score was 1-1 at regulation time.

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