There’s no skill in women’s football. That’s the usual stance taken up by those who are so fixated on the men’s game that they can’t bear the thought of it having a cross-gender rival.
To anyone who takes up such a stance however, Peamount United star Stephanie Roche may just have delivered a killer blow. The Republic of Ireland women’s international has been nominated for the Fifa Puskas Award this year, virtue of her absolute wonder strike against Wexford Youths in October of last year.
The 25-year-old, born in County Dublin, is the only woman to be included in the shortlist for this year’s award, which also includes the likes of global superstars James Rodriguez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Diego Costa and Robin van Persie.
Though Roche’s stunner might have been scored in circumstances with significantly less pressure, there’s no denying that it belongs in the list. It’s already been hailed by a host of football-related celebrities, and when it comes to shock factor there’s simply no contest; it wins hands down.
In the video, which has naturally gone viral, Roche receives the ball at waist height, before taking two touches; one to take it away from the defender and one to flick it back over her head. Then, without letting the ball hit the ground she strikes a near perfect volley with her left-foot into the top corner.
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What makes the selection for the Puskas awards all the more entertaining is the fact that three of the goals came in this summer’s World Cup - a world away from the pitch where Roche bagged hers. Nonetheless it’s up there with the best of them, and come January 12th the footballing world will be stunned by her once more should she take home the award.
Watch the goal here
Voting has now opened to decide the winner, with the ballot to close on December 1. Below are the contenders in alphabetical order.
Tim Cahill – Australia v Netherlands, 2014 Fifa World Cup
Diego Costa – Atlético Madrid v Getafe, La Liga
Marco Fabian – Cruz Azul v Puebla, 1a División 2014 Clausura (Mexico)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Paris St Germain v SC Bastia, Ligue 1
Pajtim Kasami – Crystal Palace v Fulham, Premier League
Stephanie Roche - Peamount United v Wexford Youths
James Rodriguez – Colombia v Uruguay, 2014 Fifa World Cup
Camilo Sanvezzo – Vancouver Whitecaps v Portland Timbers, MLS
Hisato Sato – Sanfrecce Hiroshima v Kawasaki Frontale, J.League
Robin van Persie – Spain v Netherlands, 2014 Fifa World Cup