Bafana Bafana

Kekana nominated for FIFA's Puskas Award

2016-11-22 07:56
Hlompho Kekana (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana midfielder Hlompho Kekana has received a nomination for FIFA's Goal of the Year award for his strike against Cameroon.

The South African earned his place on the shortlist after scoring from inside his own half during an Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying clash against The Indomitable Lions.

A goal scored with a scorpion kick in the Swedish league was also included on the shortlist along with the efforts from Lionel Messi and Neymar.

Mario Gaspar's scissors kick in last year's Spain-England friendly was also among the 10 candidates along with a winding solo effort from the women's Under-17 South American championship, scored by Venezuela's Daniuska Rodriguez.

Real Madrid and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo was missing, however, as none of the 49 goals he's scored in 2016 were considered worthy of inclusion.

The winner of the award, named after the late Hungary captain Ferenc Puskas, will be decided by the public and announced at FIFA's annual player of the year ceremony on January 9, 2017.

Simon Skrabb of Swedish side Atvidaberg scored one of the most unorthodox goals of the goals. Kristian Bergstrom hit a hard, low cross into the area and, although the ball went behind Skrabb, the Finnish player threw himself forward and manage to turn it into the net with his raised heel.

It was reminiscent of the so-called scorpion save performed by Colombia goalkeeper Rene Higuita in a friendly against England in 1992.

Messi's entry was a sublime free-kick he scored in Argentina's Copa Centenario match against the United States while Neymar was included for a Barcelona goal in which the Brazilian flicked the ball over an opponent's head and volleyed home.

FIFA has always preferred acrobatic volleys when choosing candidates but did include Hal Robson-Kanu's goal for Wales against Belgium at Euro 2016 which was as much about the flowing build up from the back as the forward's superb turn and finish.

Mohd Faiz Subri, of Malaysian Super League side Penang, was nominated for a 35m free-kick in which the ball dipped and swung in a bewildering fashion to leave the goalkeeper stranded.

Having won possession near the touchline, Kekana spotted the goalkeeper off his line and unleashed his effort from around 60m - the 30-year-old's first goal for his country.

FIFA PUSKAS AWARD NOMINEES:

1. Mario Gaspar (Spain) v England

2. Daniuska Rodriguez (Venezuela Women) v Colombia Women

3. Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid) v Bayern Munich 

4. Simon Skrabb (Atvidaberg) v Atvidabergs FF

5. Lionel Messi (Argentina) v USA

6. Neymar (Barcelona) v Villarreal

7. Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales) v Belgium

8. Mohd Faiz Subri (Penang) v Pulau Pinang

9. Hlompho Kekana (South Africa) v Cameroon

10. Marlone (Corinthians) v Cobresal

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  afcon 2017  |  hlompho kekana  |  soccer
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