Here is a story of a man who scored multiple own goals in a world cup tournament for South Africa (Bafana Bafana). South Africa qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 1998 for the first time. The tournament was played in France and South Africa played against the likes of France where Bafana players came up against the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Thiery Henry, Lizarazu and Christian Karambeu.
France went on to win the World Cup as host and during the tournament, Bafana lost to France by 3 goals to 0. The goal scorers on the day were Zinedine Zidane and Thiery Henry. One goal that was scored by France appeared to have been an own goal scored the then Bafana defender who was based in France.
Issa was selected by the then coach Phillip Troussier who knew Pierre Issa from the French Liegue and the fact that Issa was eligible to play for South Africa in senior international level as he only represented France in the junior level and was never considered for the senior level until South Africa came knocking on his door.
Pierre Issa played alongside the likes of Lucas Radebe in Bafana’s defense during the World Cup and was one of the most committed players in the Bafana Bafana team. He was always involved in tackles that were meant to block goals from opponents during the tournament and was able to cover for the left and right backs.
During the 1998 World Cup in France, Pierre Issa scored about 3 own goals and when analysts tried to replay and discuss those own goals, it came clear that Issa was trying to block goals from strikers during the tournament and he was unlucky as the blocked balls went to the opposite side of Hans Vonk who was in goals for Bafana.
Hans Vonk and Isssa were still new for South African football when they played in the tournament. Hans Vonk was based in Holland and only came to play for South Africa when he was selected by Philip Troussier for the tournament. The two new players were supposed to have helped Bafana Bafana win some games during the tournament but it was not to be as the team ended up coming back home just after completing the group matches.
According to South Africans who were watching the tournament, Pierre Issa was the worst Bafana player according to them but in reality he was one of the best players in the field of play for South Africa as he was the only player who tried to cover for all the defenders.
Bafana Bafana was not regarded as the worst team in the tournament as the winner of the tournament France came from their group. The French team went on to win beat Brazil in the finals. The match between France and Brazil was one of the most memorable matches during the World Cup tournament as Zidane steered France to lift the trophy.
Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry were France’s heroes during the tournament as they gave all their opponents a lot of headaches and scored important goals to help their country lift the trophy at home.
Now that South Africa failed to qualify for the world cup, Issa will remain the best own goal scorer in the country.