By Denis Turyahebwa
South Africa host Uganda in an international friendly at the FNB Stadium on Thursday.
Both teams will look to put behind them their disappointing AFCON qualifying campaigns where they finished third in their respective groups.
South Africa was denied a place in next year’s Africa Cup of Nations following a 2-0 loss to Sudan on March 28.
First-half goals from Saifeldin Maki and Mohamed Abdelrahman condemned Hugo Broos’s to a costly defeat in their final Group C fixture.
The Bafana Bafana now prepare to host the Uganda side who they overcame when the teams last met two years ago in the COSAFA Cup.
Thursday’s hosts have only lost one friendly on home turf since June 2017 but that loss came in their most recent one against Zambia.
They have since responded with a win and a draw in the two subsequent competitive games, scoring three goals and conceding just one.
Like South Africa, Uganda went into their final AFCON qualifier in control of their own destiny but they failed to get over the line.
A 1-0 defeat to Malawi in March capped off a disastrous winless run for Johnny McKinstry in their final three Group B qualifiers.
The Cranes managed to pick up only a point in those matches after picking up seven in the three games prior to that.
Thursday’s encounter is the final warm-up fixture for the visitors before the World Cup qualifying matches kick off in September.
Percy Tau has scored four goals in his last four international appearances including a goal apiece in each of his side’s last two home games.
As a result, Tau has moved into 8th position on his nation’s all-time scoring charts with 12 strikes in his first 28 matches.
However, the Brighton and Hove Albion forward is one of six South African players who are ruled out for the clash due to COVID-19.
Itumeleng Khune is likely to make his 92nd cap for the hosts which would move him within 15 of Aaron Mokoena’s record of 107.
Jamal Salim is in line to become the visitors’ new number one after Denis Onyango announced his retirement back in April.
South Africa Possible Starting Lineup:
Williams; Maela, Xulu, Hiatshwayo, Morena; Monare, Gamildien, Zwane, Maboe; Foster, Hlanti
Uganda Possible Starting Lineup:
Salim; Ochaya, Jjuko, Mukiibi, Wadada; Azira, Wasira, Miya; Okwi, Kizza, Orit
According to previous meetings, we predict South Africa 2-1 Uganda.