Thapelo Maseko’s (21) Incredible Rise to AFCON Glory

In a captivating journey from the DStv Diski Challenge to the grand stage of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Bafana Bafana’s 21-year-old winger, Thapelo Maseko, has left quite the mark.

Still excited from the experiance of scoring his first senior international goal, Thapelo Maseko reflects on the his journey that has taken him from local reserve leagues to the top of African football.

Thapelo Maseko is an exciting prospect in South African football.

Thapelo Maseko is an exciting prospect in South African football.

Thapelo Maseko’s moment arrived as a late substitute in South Africa’s encounter against Namibia, where he notched up his first goal for the national team.

Speaking about the experience, Maseko shared his excitement, saying:

“It feels great, it feels wonderful, it’s a wonderful feeling and I hope for many more and we hope for many more victories.”

Following a tactical switch that saw him start on the bench in the previous game against Mali, Maseko’s hunger for goals played a vital role in South Africa’s approach against Namibia.

He explained, “We were hoping for [many] goals because obviously we didn’t score in the first game, so we went more direct and scored as many as we could because of the goal difference.”

Thapelo Maseko’s journey

Thapelo Maseko’s remarkable journey began with his professional debut for SuperSport United in 2022.

Excelling in the DStv Diski Challenge, he quickly garnered attention, earning a move to Mamelodi Sundowns after an impressive full season with Matsatsansa.

Notably, he was living in the development clubhouse before his move to Chloorkop and clinched the Young Player of the Season award at Sundowns.

Reflecting on the challenging transition from local leagues to the high-stakes AFCON, Maseko said:

“Yeah it’s very tough, but I’m trying to adjust, I’m trying my best to adjust – and it’s a top tournament, top facilities, and everything is high level.”

In just his first half-season at Masandawana, Maseko has become a key figure, contributing significantly to their triumph in the African Football League campaign.

Winning the Player of the Tournament at the league leaders proves his rapid impact and adaptability.

As South Africa gears up for the crucial Group E clash against Tunisia, Maseko expressed eagerness to showcase the team’s capabilities.

“It’s a highly anticipated game against Tunisia [next], and we’ll go all out to show what we can do for South Africans and to [show] the world,” he stated.

Also Read: Themba Zwane Launches AFCON Golden Boot Race After Sensational 2 Goal Performance

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