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Masuluke’s wonder goal‚ scored in the dying seconds six minutes into injury time‚ earned Baroka a 1-1 Premier Soccer League draw at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night – and has earned the keeper a measure of instant global fame.
Footage of the goal has gone viral on social media and been featured on the websites of newspapers around the world‚ including most of Britain’s major publications such as the Guardian‚ the Telegraph‚ the Sun and the Daily Mail.
Baroka’s media officer Jimmy Ngobeni said on Thursday he has been swamped by calls from local and international press asking to know more about 23-year-old Masuluke‚ whose Neymar-like strike is made more amazing by the fact that he is a good two-metres tall.
“I have had calls from 3am‚ even from Britain‚” Ngobeni said.
“He is not answering calls. I know him – he’s not fond of interviews.”
Not surprisingly Masuluke played as a striker in his teenaged years at amateur team Hotspurs in Giyani in Limpopo. He was signed by Baroka from then fellow-National First Division team Winners Park‚ who are based in Mookgopong in Limpopo‚ as a goalkeeper.
Baroka won last season’s NFD title to be promoted to the PSL‚ where the exciting team from Polokwane‚ coached by the eccentric Kgoloko Thobejane‚ sit in 11th place after 10 games.
“Masuluke is from the rural area of Ngobe outside Giyani‚” Ngobeni said.
“It’s very rural and disadvantaged‚ where there is a lot of drought. There was informal interest in him at one stage from Sundowns.
“In training what I've seen is that he wants to do everything. Sometimes when the training’s finished he wants to play as a striker‚ or as a defender.
“But I’ve never seen him practice that bicycle kick. I think it was just his instinct as a former striker that made him do it.
“What I’ve realised about him is he is very competitive and likes winning – that is his problem.
“No-one told him against Pirates to go to the 18-area for that last corner. When the assistant-coach told everyone to push forward‚ he just did as well.
“I just saw him there‚ and was going to be angry about it. But we had nothing to lose with 30 seconds left‚ and he came with a spectacular goal.”
TMG Digital/TMG Sport