Uganda searching for first win against South Africa

Uganda and South Africa have played against each other on three occasions in the past, with the latter winning twice while the other game ended in a draw.

The Uganda Cranes will therefore be looking for their first win against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, when the two sides face off in a friendly at Orlando Stadium on Thursday.

The two sides last met in 2019, playing to a one-all stalemate in normal time before South Africa edged the Cranes 4-2 in post-match penalties in the COSAFA Cup plate semi-final.

The other two meetings were in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers, where the Bafana Bafana beat Uganda 2-1 at home and 1-0 in Kampala.

Despite South Africa’s dominance in this fixture, both teams find themselves in a similar situation after a failed Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign.

And with the 2022 World Cup qualifiers postponed to September, the game on Thursday will be the start of a rebuilding process in both camps as they prepare to bounce back after failed AFCON qualification campaigns.

Relatively young squads were summoned by both coaches, a clear indication that it is time to build for the future.

The Uganda Cranes will be under the guidance of interim head coach Abdallah Mubiru who was the same tactician in charge of the Cranes when these two sides last met in 2019.

While South Africa will have assistants in Cedomir Janevski and Helman Mkhalele in the dugout sitting in for head coach Hugo Broos who is away in his home country Belgium.

Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Percy Tau is a notable miss for South Africa after he tested positive for COVID-19 alongside SuperSport United midfielders Teboho Mokoena and Sipho Mbule.

While Mamelodi Sundowns defender Mosa Lebusa and teammates Rivaldo Coetzee and Mothobi Mvala are out injured.

For the Cranes, they will play their first game without former captain Dennis Onyango who retired in April together with his assistant Hassan Wasswa and midfielder Michael Azira.

Onyango’s predecessor Emmanuel Okwi will lead a Cranes side that will be full of youngsters after most of the seniors were left out.

Uganda Cranes 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Ismail Watenga, Charles Lukwago, Mathias Kigonya

Defenders: Hassan Muhamud, Paul Willa, Patrick Paul Mbowa, Halid Lwalilwa, Aziz Kayondo, Enock Walusimbi, Mustafa Kizza, Murushid Juuko 

Midfielders: Bobosi Byaruhanga, Shafik Kagimu, Moses Waiswa, Taddeo Lwanga, Allan Okello, Abdu Lumala, Ibrahim Orit, Steven Sserwadda, Isma Mugulusi

Strikers: Emmanuel Okwi(Captain), Derrick Kakooza, Steven Mukwaala

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