Uganda blew the chance to claim their first-ever victory over South Africa when they squandered a 1-0 half-time lead to lose 3-2 to the Bafana Bafana at the Orlando Stadium, Soweto on Thursday evening.
A brace by substitute Evidence Makgopa and a goal by Bongokuhle Hlongwane gave South Africa the chance to salvage a win and extend their unbeaten run over the Cranes to four games after Ibrahim Orit had put Uganda ahead at the interval.
Uganda was the better side of the opening half and got their reward in the 17th minute after Orit headed in Emmanuel Okwi’s cross past the Bafana goalkeeper Ronwen Williams to break the deadlock.
Uganda tried to get the second of the game before the break but they were unlucky in front goal to settle for a 1-0 lead before the second half.
Having endured a disappointing opening half, South Africa returned for the closing half the better, dominating proceedings and imposing a lot of pressure on the Cranes’ backline.
From those attacks in the 61st minutes, South Africa levelled matter through Makgopa’s early tap in after a brilliant Hlongwane cross from the right that caught the Cranes’ backline unaware.
Three minutes afterwards, Uganda would have been behind, had it not been for Ismail Watenga who made a brilliant save to deny Thabiso Kutumela’s close-range strike. However, he [Watenga] couldn’t stop Hlongwane’s effort in the 67th minute which rattled the post and into the back of the net for South Africa’s second of the game.
The Cranes were further undone in the 83rd minute after Makgopa capitalized on poor defending to extend his side’s lead through a brilliant strike.
Abdul Lumala, who came on for Allan Okello pulled a goal back for the Cranes in the 89th minutes but it proved a little too late for a turnaround.
The Cranes have not tasted victory in their last six games now with four defeats and two draws. The Cranes have also lost all four competitive games against South Africa in their history.