Is there a minimum age threshold for the Puskás Award?
If not, this amazing effort from the quarterfinals of the Okayama national high school soccer tournament in Japan should surely be in contention.
Tamano-Konan were locked in a 1-1 draw with Sakuyo with a place in the semifinals on the line. With the game grinding into stoppage time, it looked like the tie was headed for another 30 minutes and, possibly, penalties.
The build-up is so short. A goalkick that finds a teammate just outside the attacking third. A header to another teammate. A headed pass to the unnamed #11. He takes it on his chest. He flicks it over his head so he can turn on his defender. He catches his own volley and launches it from 20, maybe 25 yards. It nestles into the top left corner. The keeper had zero chance.
You’ll notice that, between the goalkick and the goal, the ball doesn’t touch the ground once.
Tamano-Konan held on through the rest of stoppage time and booked their place in the final four. Yet the tournament almost seems beside the point now. Whatever happens, this goal will undoubtedly be the thing people talk about for a long time to come.