Jonty Mark
Football Editor
3 minute read
15 Jan 2019
2:26 pm

Masinga’s memories will truly last forever

Jonty Mark

Phil Masinga left an indelible mark on the game in this country, indeed all over the world, emphasised by the tributes that have been pouring in from across the globe since his untimely passing on Sunday morning.

Phil Masinga during the 2018 SAFA Press Conference at the SAFA House, Johannesburg on 26 July 2018 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Masinga was just 49 when he died, far too early for any-one to leave this planet, but he left Bafana Bafana fans with memories that will last forever.

Masinga passed away on January 13, 23 years to the day from when he netted South Africa’s opening goal against Cameroon of an ultimately glorious run to the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations title.
With his most famous goal of all, of course, he then propelled Clive Barker’s side to the 1998 World Cup in France, a brilliant strike enough to see off Congo-Brazaville at FNB Stadium in August 1997.

Masinga was also a pioneer for many South Africans in terms of carving out a club career abroad, most famously at Leeds United and in Serie A in Italy with Bari. Phakaaathi would like to take this opportunity to send our condolences to his family and friends.

Masinga was also, of course, an extremely prolific striker with Mamelodi Sundowns, before he made his way to England and Leeds in 1994.

Masandawana could do with a striker with Masinga’s goalscoring instincts in the side right now, disappointing in Champions League defeat to Lobi Stars on Friday.

Jeremy Brockie could still become a fine goalscorer for Sundowns, and has at least got off the mark after a dreadful start to his career in yellow. Brockie speaks in this week’s Phakaaathi about Sundowns’ challenge to retain their league title. The Brazilians face Maritzburg United tomorrow and while they are on a terrific unbeaten run in the league, too many of those have been draws, leaving them already with an uphill task to make up ground on Bidvest Wits at the top.

As for Orlando Pirates, they got the best result for a South African side on the continent this weekend, with their goalless draw at FC Platinum in Zimbabwe. An away point is not to be sniffed at in the Champions League, and we hear from Micho Sredojevic.

Kaizer Chiefs fans were left disappointed by their side’s loss to Zesco in the Caf Confederation Cup. Amakhosi’s domestic form, however, has improved dramatically under Ernst Middendorp, and they have to be favourites for a win at AmaZulu tomorrow.

In our regular one-on-one feature, we speak to Ronwen Williams, who has his eye on Itumeleng Khune’s Bafana No 1 jersey.

Williams is a good young goalkeeper and with Khune out injured for some time, his chance could come sooner rather than later, perhaps even in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Libya in March. Talking of the 2019 Afcon, it was a little sad to see South Africa miss out on hosting the competition, but it would have been a bit of a joke if Bafana had qualified automatically as hosts.

It is certainly justified that they have to prove themselves by beating Libya. And good luck to Egypt, who will now host the competition, set to take place in June.

All that is left is for me to again encourage all readers to enter Phakaaathi’s Private Fantasy League, with the chance to win some fantastic monthly prizes. Turn to Page 7 or go to our website for more details.

 

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