Oscarine Masuluke flew the South African flag high. Photo: Twitter 

Oscarine goes down fighting


Mzamane Ringane   l   Views: 80

Before the announcement of the Puskás Award winner at the The Best FIFA Football Awards in London on Monday, 23 October, most South Africans back home were confident that Baroka FC goalkeeper Oscarine would beat his opponents. 

To the shock and surprise of many, the local goalkeeper, who was backed by among others, retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, Tottenham Hotspurs FC Striker Harry Kane, and Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, lost out to Arsenal FC striker Olivier Giroud. 

It is generally-agreed that the Limpopo-born Baroka FC goalkeeper scored a spectacular goal, which deserved a place in the world’s top three.

However, Masuluke’s fate depended on votes from soccer fans from across the country, Africa and the broader international soccer community, for his goal as the best among the three. 

Masuluke initially received sufficient votes to make it as a finalist of the FIFA Puskás Award, competing with Giroud and female footballer Deyna Castellanos of Venezuela. 

The second round of voting was open to the public shortly after names of the three finalists were announced. 

Members of the public were entitled to one vote during each of the two rounds of voting. 

The accolade is awarded to the player whose goal received the highest number of public votes, during both the first and second rounds of voting. 

As much as Masuluke’s goal was deemed to be the best across the globe, it had to be approved by public votes. 

It is not all doom and gloom though, as he remains the first player from Africa and also the first goalkeeper to reach the top three. 

Last year Mamelodi Sundowns FC midfielder and skipper, Hlompho Kekana, who also hails from Limpopo, was shortlisted in the top 10 for the same award. 

The fact that another South African footballer went as far as reaching the top three this year, showed there was a glimmer of hope for the local football on the world stage.

4 months ago       26 October 2017