The nominees for the FIFA Puskas Award for the “most beautiful” goal of the year aren't usually announced until November, but we’re fairly certain that we’ve seen a goal that will undoubtedly be amongst the contenders.
Step forward, Hlompho Kekana.
The 30-year-old was representing his country, South Africa, in a crucial African Cup of Nations qualifier against Cameroon when he channeled his inner David Beckham and scored from inside his own half.
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In fact, we’re doing Kekana a bit of disservice by comparing it to Beckham’s strike against Wimbledon in 1996, because it’s better than that.
Kekana must have been a full 70-yards out when he smashed the ball over the head of N’dy Assembe in the Cameroon goal.
To make it even better, it didn’t even touch the ground before nestling in the back of the net.
It really is an incredible strike, one that needs to be seen to be believed. So here it is:
If that goal isn’t named in the top nominees for the Puskas Award, we’ll be amazed.
Beckham was fairly central and only just inside his own half, about 50-yards out, when he scored against Wimbledon whereas the South African was at an angle and, probably, an extra 20-yards further out.
Like Kekana, Beckham's strike didn't touch the ground before it struck the net of Neil Sullivan's goal.
Here's Beckham's strike:
Bafana Bafana entered the match having only picked up one point from their opening two matches against Mauritania and Gambia and desperately needed the three points.
Kekaha’s wonder strike gave them a 2-1 lead and appeared to have won the match for them but Marseille’s Nicolas N’Koulou scored an equaliser for the home side.