Woman's jaw-dropping volley short-listed for Fifa's goal of the year

Irish forward Stephanie Roche poses in the locker room of her French Ligue 1 football club Albi in the southern commune of Albi on Nov 24, 2014. A goal scored by a Roche is creating a buzz on the Internet - because it has been short-listed 
Irish forward Stephanie Roche poses in the locker room of her French Ligue 1 football club Albi in the southern commune of Albi on Nov 24, 2014. A goal scored by a Roche is creating a buzz on the Internet - because it has been short-listed for Fifa's goal of the year. -- PHOTO: AFP

A goal scored by a woman is creating a buzz on the Internet - because it has been short-listed for Fifa's goal of the year.

Stephanie Roche, a 25-year-old from Ireland, is up against Colombia's James Rodriguez and Robin van Persie of the Netherlands, whose goals were both scored during the 2014 World Cup.

Roche's jaw-dropping strike - for Irish women's club Peamount United in October 2013 - would likely have passed under the radar had the team manager of the opposing club, Wexford Youths, not arranged to have the match videoed.

The video has had more than three million views on YouTube, says the BBC.

Roche's volley - seen that day by an estimated 95 spectators - helped earn her a professional contract with French club ASPTT Albi.

Users of Fifa.com and francefootball.fr will be able to vote for their favourite of the three goals.

If Roche wins the vote, she will become the first female to earn Fifa's Puskas award, says the BBC.

The winner will be announced at the world governing body's annual awards in Zurich on Jan 12.

"I am delighted obviously, it's a great achievement and I hope (people) will continue to vote for me," Roche told the BBC.

"I'm happy my goal is getting recognition, it's brilliant for me and brilliant for women's football."

Speaking about her goal, she said: "The ball was crossed in from the right, I had my back to goal and I had my first touch with my right foot.

"I put the ball onto my left foot and then volleyed it into the goal and spun the defender.

"It's only just sinking in that it was a good goal and it's getting the attention."

Former Republic of Ireland great Paul McGrath and former England stars Rio Ferdinand, Gary Lineker and Matthew Le Tissier are among those who marvelled at Roche's skill after viewing the grainy footage of the goal, according to the BBC.

Roche, from Dublin, represented the Republic of Ireland Under-17 team as a 14-year-old and since making her senior international debut in 2008, has gone on to accumulate 28 caps.

She is up against Real Madrid's Rodriguez, who netted a sensational volley from outside the area for his country against Uruguay at the World Cup.

Manchester United's Van Persie also makes the short-list for his diving header for the Dutch in their World Cup opener against Spain.

But her strike has divided opinion on the Web, with Netizens questioning whether the goal would have been short-listed had it been scored by a player such as Ronaldo.

"It isn't fair to have this as a nomination as goal of the year for the sole reason of her being a woman," says Battle Typhoon on YouTube. "There have been scored dozens of better goals, probably hundreds all over the world, and yet she is in the top three because she is a female."

Says bananaman22: "Great goal. But can't be considered a top goal. Luis Suarez scored many wonder goals last season and none of his was included.

"When considering the value of a goal you have to take into account the quality of the opposition. Otherwise, there are many such goals throughout all the Sunday leagues in the world any given week."