A makeshift Bafana Bafana team, missing almost all of its star names, produced a stirring second half comeback to beat Uganda 3-2 in an international friendly at Orlando Stadium on Thursday.
Phakaaathi takes a look at three players that must have caught Hugo Broos’ eye, watching from Belgium, ahead of September’s 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.
The Baroka striker has just turned 21, and if there was any doubt about his abilities to step up at international level, he put his hand up here, not just to be a starter at the Tokyo Olympics for South Africa, but also for Broos in the World Cup qualifiers. Makgopa was only a late call-up to a squad ravaged by illness and injury, but on his Bafana debut he made his mark immediately, with two fine finishes, a deft near-post flick and another shot powered beyond the reach of Ishmael Watenga.
Hlongwane had played for Bafana before, in an African Nations Championship qualifier against Lesotho in July 2019. Just under two years later, the Maritzburg United striker returned, and after a limp first half, along with the rest of the team, he produced a superb second goal against Uganda, cutting in from the right and curling an excellent finish past Watenga. Hlongwane, who turns 21 later this month, has already been linked with a move to Orlando Pirates, and this can have done his chances no harm.
Fresh from his nominations for PSL Footballer of the Season and DStv Premiership Players’ Player of the Season, Kutumela also came off the bench to revitalise Bafana in the second half against Uganda. It was the Maritzburg United attacker’s cross that set up Makgopa for the equaliser, and while he missed a good chance himself just after that, he was a menace to the Cranes defence. He has been heavily linked with a move to Mamelodi Sundowns and could that also combine itself with a regular place up front for Bafana?