NEWS

You Can Help Hlompho Kekana Win The FIFA Puskas Award

His screamer against Cameroon is one of the goals nominated for the best of 2016.

22/11/2016 18:56 SAST | Updated 22/11/2016 20:16 SAST
Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images
POLOKWANE, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 12: Hlompho Kekana of South Africa and Idrissa Gueye of Senegal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokaba Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Polokwane, South Africa.

Prior to 26 March 2016, Bafana Bafana and Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Hlompho Kekana had never scored for the national side. Then he played against Cameroon in Yaoundé in a 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier. Playing as he normally does as a midfield destroyer, the 31-year-old broke up the home team's play deep in his own half. So far, so predictable. Then he looked up, spotted the Cameroon goalkeeper Ndy Assembe standing far off his goal line and, from deep within his own half, unleashed a screaming Tomahawk missile of a shot. It cruised beautifully in the air, before dipping just under the crossbar to beat the hapless keeper. Cue pandemonium and gushing superlatives. (Bafana Bafana, being Bafana Bafana, went on to draw the match.)

The goal placed Kekana in a small and exclusive club of footballers who have scored a goal from within their own half, alongside David Beckham and Xabi Alonso. Now it has been nominated as one of the 10 best goals of the year, and he is up to receive the coveted FIFA Puskas Award in January next year. Kekana is up against other titans of the game, like Lionel Messi, Neymar and Saúl Ñíguez.

If Kekana is nominated among the top three, he will then be eligible for the final prize, to be handed out at a glittering ceremony in Switzerland next year. Katlego Mphela and Siphiwe Tshabalala have also made it into the top 10 in previous years but neither has won the award.

Click here to vote for Kekana's goal. You have until 2 December to cast your first vote. After that, voting will close, and then reopen for the three finalists.

Should he win, Kekana will join the likes of James Rodríguez, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have been previous Puskas award winners.