The man who took Bafana Bafana to their first FIFA World Cup

Philemon ‘Chippa’ Masinga was one of the greatest natural strikers the country ever had and was very lethal in front of goals. He is mostly remembered for his goal against Congo that took South Africa to their first World Cup qualification on which the World Cup was played in France and was won by France who were in the same group as Bafana Bafana.

Chippa played for Jomo Cosmos while they were still campaigning in South Africa’s top flight football and was they leading goalscorer during his playing days for Cosmos. He is remembered very well in Cosmos colours in a game against Kaizer Chiefs where he scored unbelievable goals but ended up being on the losing side.

He then went on to play for Mamelodi Sundowns were he continued doing well for the Pretoria side and scored a lot of goals. When playing for Mamelodi Sundowns he attracted a lot of European interest and at first was not interested in moving to Europe until he realized that he was missing on great opportunities.

In Europe, Masinga played for Leeds United in the English Premiership, he also played for Salernitana and Bari in the Italian Serie A, and then also played in the Switzerland for St. Gallen. He really enjoyed his European career and was one of the best South African players playing abroad during those days.

Masinga’s famous goals for the national team were against Brazil, England, and Congo. In a game against Brazil, Masinga was the first scorer and South Africa were on the balance and Doctor Khumalo made it 2 goals to 0 before half time and things started worse for Bafana Bafana in the second half when Brazil equalized and went on to win the match by 3 goals to 2.

Chippa Masinga had a short stint in 2006 as a coach for PJ Stars who were one of the up and coming sides promising for promotion to the elite football in the country. Since then he has not been given another chance coach in South Africa and it is very disturbing not to see Masinga sharing the knowledge he gained during his playing days.

In general, Masinga scored 172 proffessional goals both for the national team Bafana Bafana and the teams he played for locally and abroad. He scored 18 goals for Bafana Bafana and 154 goals for club level. This shows that Masinga was a natural striker who contributed a lot in South African football.

It is players like Philemon Masinga who are making differences for their national teams in other countries. The likes of Kalusha Bwalya and others are used by their home football associations to help in the development of their football and other football activities while in South Africa it is a different story.

Indeed Philemon is one of the people who made it possible for football in the country to reach its best achievements and other milestones. Mamelodi Sundowns are currently the CAF Champions due to the development inputs that were prepared by former players like Philemon Masinga.

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