SA's Oscarine in with a shot for Fifa award
For the second year running, a South African - Baroka FC goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke - has been nominated for Fifa's prestigious global Puskas Award for goal of the year.
Bizarrely, due to the format of voting by the public, Masuluke's goal did not even win the Premier Soccer League's award for goal of the 2016/17 South African domestic season at their awards in Sandton in July.
Masuluke's wonder goal against Orlando Pirates missed out to a strike clearly less spectacular by Kaizer Chiefs midfield star Siphiwe Tshabalala in what had clearly turned more into a popularity contest.Masuluke has been nominated for a stunning overhead bicycle kick six minutes into injury time against Pirates that earned a 1-1 draw for Baroka at Peter Mokaba Stadium on November 30.
Last year, Hlompo Kekana's spectacular goal from inside his own half in Bafana Bafana's 2-2 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Cameroon in Limbe was nominated.
Sundowns midfielder Kekana was among the 10 nominations, but did not get enough votes for the final shortlist of three, won eventually by Malaysia's Mohd Faiz Subri.
Masuluke will be up against a strike by Ghana's Kevin-Prince Boateng's for Las Palmas in Spain's La Liga and one by France's Olivier Giroud for Arsenal. Juventus's Mario Mandzukic and Nemanja Matic of Chelsea have also been nominated.Masuluke might be in with a shot. Goals have been scored by goalkeepers before, mostly from free kicks. An overhead kick from the edge of the area was surely a first.
Fifa's The Best awards nominees were announced in London on Friday, where the ceremony takes place on October 23.
The usual suspects - Portugal and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi of Argentina and Barcelona and Brazil's Neymar of Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain - were nominated for the men's player award.