Lausanne, Switzerland:-The third best goal of 2021, as chosen by the fans, goes to South Africa’s Dayaan Cassiem for his sensational strike against eventual Olympic gold medallists Belgium when the two sides met in the pool phase of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Cassiem, unquestionably one of the stars of the tournament at the showpiece event in Japan, netted a sensational solo effort against the Red Lions, running half the length of the field in possession before producing an outrageous flicked effort past the shoulder of brilliant Belgian goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch and into the net.
To score a goal of such rare quality against the reigning world champions and soon to be Olympic gold medallists was a moment to treasure for the immensely gifted attacker who, alongside younger brother Mustaphaa, represents a bright, exciting future for South African hockey.
The fans have decided that the third best match of 2021 also came from the men’s hockey competition at Tokyo 2020, with India’s remarkable 5-4 triumph over Germany in the bronze medal game getting the nod.
A pulsating contest saw six goals exchanged between the teams in the first two quarters, with the two sides going into half time with the score locked at 3-3.
Crucially, India netted twice early in the third quarter before Germany reduced the deficit early in the fourth period, but it was the Indians who held on for victory, securing their first Olympic medal since winning gold at the Moscow 1980 games, some 41 years previous.
The second favorite goal and match of 2021 will be revealed on Thursday 13 January, with the winners being announced on Friday 14th.