Maritzburg United striker Thabiso Kutumela will be expected to lead the line for Bafana Bafana against the Ugandans.
DURBAN – The youthful Bafana Bafana side that will take on Uganda on Thursday will give fans an indication of what to expect from the national team in future.
New Bafana coach Hugo Broos is set to miss the game as he will be receiving a Covid-19 vaccine in his homeland of Belgium with assistant coaches Janevski Cedomir and Helman Mkhalele set to oversee the match.
The national team were dealt a blow in their preparations for the game after it emerged that Percy Tau, Teboho Mokoena Sipho Mbule, Mosa Lebusa, Mothobi Mvala and Rivaldo Coetzee had to all be withdrawn from the side following positive Covid-19 tests and injuries.
Denwin Farmer, Evidence Makgopa, Njabulo Ngcobo and TS Galaxy’s Ethan Brooks have since been called up to make up the numbers.
The loss of Brighton & Hove Albion attacker Tau would have particularly been a big blow as he would’ve been expected to serve as the focal point for the team, which has had a reputation for firing blacks in front of goal since the retirement of Benni McCarthy.
In the absence of Tau, Maritzburg United striker Thabiso Kutumela will be expected to lead the line for Bafana against the Ugandans.
Out of the four South Africans who scored more than 10 goals in the Premiership last season, namely Bradley Grobler, Themba Zwane, Ruzaigh Gamildien and Kutumela, the Maritzburg United star was the only one aged under 30 to achieve the milestone.
He is also the only one out of the quartet who is in the current Bafana squad. Just like Bafana, the Cranes are also currently under new leadership with Abdallah Mubiru having succeeded the sacked Johnathan McKinstry as national team coach.
Uganda’s midfield anchor in the game may be Moses Waiswa who was an important player for SuperSport United last season.
Newly-crowned Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season Denis Onyango (36), who recently called time on his international career with Uganda, believes that the friendly should be an exciting game of football.
“I would have loved to have been there, but obviously I’m now retired. I saw that Bafana called up a lot of youngsters and Uganda are also trying to build for the future. I want to be at the stadium and get a feeling of game,” said Onyango.
Chippa United goalie Ismael Watenga will be among the contenders to succeed Onyango between the sticks for Uganda.