Hlompho Kekana’s amazing goal for Bafana Bafana in their match against Cameroon on Saturday is making world headlines with many – like Britain’s ‘The Guardian’ newspaper – heralding the long range wonder goal as “Beckham-esque”, some say even better.
SA Football Association (SAFA) predict the astonishing goal – reminiscent of David Beckham’s long-distance strike against Wimbledon in 1996 – “will make the Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder a hero among football lovers for years to come”.
The match was Kekana’s first in two years for Bafana Bafana.
SAFA said he had looked like “the forgotten man of South African football” after last playing for the national team two years ago in a goalless draw against New Zealand.
Since then the 30-year-old has put in a steady and sterling performance for his club, and finally made a return to Bafana Bafana on Saturday…where he scored the incredible goal from inside his half.
Watch Video: Hlompho Kekana’s Amazing Goal Against Cameroon
Unfortunately Kekana’s awesome goal wasn’t enough to secure a victory for South Africa in Limbe, Cameroon, but it did help SA tie 2-2 with the Indomitable Lions in the crucial Gabon Africa Cup of Nations 2017 qualifier match.
After the match, Kekana said: “I would like to thank the Almighty for giving me the opportunity to be back here again, and seal the return with a goal. It is something I have been working hard at my game because it has always been a dream of mine to return to the national team.”
In an interview with SAFA media, Kekana told Matlhomola Morake he had been practising this move in training for the past four months. “After we dispossessed Cameroon I looked up and saw the keeper well off his line and I took a chance, thankfully it went in.”
He said he had been so excited with the goal because during training he hadn’t been able to successfully score such a goal, and said the goal brought joy “not only to me but to my teammates and the entire country which shows just how much the goals means to everyone, not just to me. So this goal is for them.”
This was Kekana’s fourth goal for South Africa in his 15th appearance, since his 2011 debut in Tanzania.
Bafana Bafana will meet Cameroon in a return match on Tuesday 29 March at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Kick-off is at 19h00.