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FIFA nominee Kekana urges fans to vote for him

2016-11-24 18:14
Hlompho Kekana (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - FIFA Goal of the Year contender Hlompho Kekana scored with a cheeky back-heel as African champions Mamelodi Sundowns beat Golden Arrows 3-0 on Wednesday in the South African Premiership.

Kekana and Barcelona superstars Lionel Messi and Neymar were among 10 scorers named this week as candidates for an award that honours deceased Hungarian football icon Ferenc Puskas.

WATCH: Puskas Award nominees best goals

The South Africa midfielder scored from his own half against Cameroon in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier last March with the lofted drive dipping behind the goalkeeper and into the net.

His 42nd-minute goal in Pretoria, which ended the deadlock against Arrows at the Loftus Versfeld stadium, was scored from just outside the penalty area.

After Kekana had a trademark long-range shot brilliantly tipped over by Namibia goalkeeper Maximilian Mbaeva, he back-heeled the resulting corner into the net.

"It was a very different goal from the one I scored in Cameroon, but they all count," said the 31-year-old, who is among five contenders for the 2016 Africa-based African Footballer of the Year award.

"No African has won the FIFA Goal of the Year so I am urging every football supporter between Cairo and Cape Town to vote for me," he said of a competition to be decided by an online poll.

"The goal in Cameroon was the best of my career, but I never believed it would be a contender for Goal of the Year," he added.

Kekana was a key cog in the Sundowns side that won the CAF Champions League last month for the first time, defeating Zamalek of Egypt 3-1 on aggregate in the final.

Playing in Africa prevented the champions fulfilling all their Premiership fixtures and the win over Arrows came in only their fifth league outing of the season while many rivals have played 10 games.

Bottom of the table at one stage, Sundowns rose four places to eighth after a third straight victory lifted them to 10 points from five matches.

Recently signed Sibusiso Vilakazi doubled the lead less than a minute into the second half and Themba Zwane got the third goal on 74 minutes.

Wits regained first place on goal difference from Cape Town City despite being held 2-2 at home in Johannesburg by lowly Highlands Park.

Mothobi Mvala snatched a 95th-minute equaliser for Highlands, who had a one-man advantage throughout the second half after Wits defender Sifiso Hlanti was red-carded.

Kaizer Chiefs' winless league run stretched to four matches following a 1-1 draw with visiting SuperSport United in Soweto.

Wits and Cape Town have 20 points each after matchday 10, SuperSport and Arrows 17 apiece and Chiefs and Orlando Pirates 16 each.

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