Olivier Giroud pips Oscarine Masuluke to FIFA Puskas Award
Africa's wait for a FIFA Puskas Award winner continues after Olivier Giroud pipped Oscarine Masuluke to the goal of the season prize at The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony in London on Monday.
The Baroka FC stopper had travelled to London hoping to become the first African player and the first goalkeeper to ever win the prestigious award, but he was beaten by Giroud's scorpion kick against Crystal Palace in the Premier League last season.
Deyna Castellanos's long-range wondergoal for Venezuela against Cameroon at the U-17 Women's World Cup also missed out.
The 24-year-old Masuluke's wondergoal came in the 96th minute of a South African league game against domestic heavyweights Orlando Pirates at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on 30 November 2016.
With his struggling side trailing 1-0, the goalkeeper went up for a corner, and with his back to goal, demonstrated his agility by leaping to send a magnificent overhead kick past his opposite number Jackson Mabokgwane.
Baroka ultimately went on to avoid automatic relegation by one point, and subsequently retained their spot in the top flight after winning the PSL Playoff Tournament.
In missing out on the FIFA Puskas award, Masuluke completed an unfortunate double, with his effort having been nominated for the 2016-17 PSL Goal of the Season award, only for Kaizer Chiefs wideman Siphiwe Tshabalala, who marked his 300th appearance for Kaizer Chiefs with a delightful lob against SuperSport United, to win the prize.
"It's just unbelievable that I will share the same stage with some of the best players in the world," Masuluke had told Kick Off ahead of the awards ceremony. "To go to London and meet some of the great soccer stars is a great achievement on its own.
"I will always be grateful to all the people that voted for me for this award," he added. "It's not about me but my family, my country and the continent."
In previous years, South Africa's Hlompho Kekana, Marcel Ndjeng of Paderborn, Fenerbahce's Moussa Dow and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu of Ghana are just some of the continent's players to have been nominated for the award.
This year, Kevin-Prince Boateng also made the 10-man shortlist for the prize after his sublime strike for Las Palmas against Villarreal last term.