South Sudan's first officially recognised game since the country was admitted
Known as the Bright Star, the team drew 2-2 with 10-man Uganda, the reigning East and Central African champions.
The match in the capital, Juba, comes a day after South Sudan marked its first anniversary of
President Salva Kiir did not attend the game but 22,000 cheering fans saw South Sudan come from behind twice.
Caesar Okuthi gave the visitors the lead in the seventh minute but was then sent off 15 minutes later for a second bookable offence.
His dismissal came minutes after the hosts had equalised through Richard Justin, who converted a penalty.
Despite playing with 10 men, Uganda dominated against their inexperienced hosts and only some great saves from goalkeeper Jumma Genaro, who plays in Sudan, saved the Bright Star.
Julius Ogwang gave Uganda a 2-1 lead after 33 minutes after a mistake by Genaro, who fumbled the shot before allowing it to cross the line.
Three minutes before half-time, India-based professional James Joseph made it 2-2 with a fine header.
The second half was more evenly balanced and both sides failed to capitalise on the chances they had to win the match.
Cranes assistant coach Leo Adra said he was satisfied with the result, while South Sudan's Serbian coach Zoran Djordjevic was happy to get a draw against experienced opposition.
"Playing against a well-exposed side like Uganda and getting a draw is a very good start," he said.
South Sudan will now send a team, Al Salaam Wau FC, for the East and Central African regional club tournament, the Cecafa Club Championship, which begins in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam on 14 July.
The national team have already confirmed they - the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup - later this year.