Former South Africa striker Phil Masinga dies aged 49

Phil Masinga of South Africa in action
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  • Former striker Phil Masinga passes away aged 49
  • Scored goal that secured South Africa’s qualification to first World Cup
  • "A loyal servant of the game, on and off the field of play"

Phil Masinga, whose goal secured South Africa’s qualification to their first FIFA World Cup at France 1998, has passed away aged 49.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) confirmed that Masinga died of a cancer-related disease in Johannesburg on Sunday.

"We have lost a giant of South African Football, this is a sad day for our football,” said SAFA president Dr Danny Jordaan. "Phil was a loyal servant of the game, on and off the field of play.

"His goal against Congo which took us (South Africa) to our first World Cup in France in 1998, is still the most celebrated goal in the country to date."

Masinga made his debut for South Africa in July 1992 against Cameroon and is best remembered for his stunning long-range strike against Congo in Johannesburg on 16 August 1997, which ensured Bafana Bafana qualified for France 1998 – the country’s first World Cup.

The former striker earned more than 50 international caps, made two appearances at France 1998 and was also part of the Bafana Bafana squad that won the CAF Africa Cup of Nations on home soil in 1996.

At club level, Masinga began his career at Jomo Cosmos before having spells at Mamelodi Sundowns, Leeds United, St. Gallen, Salernitana, Bari and Al-Wahda.

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