Jaden Philogene's goal can't win the Puskás Award - but here are five EFL wondergoals that could

Jaden Philogene's stunning strike for Hull City was, sadly, an own goal - but here are five EFL goals that deserve the same attention.
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You’ve probably seen it by now – Jaden Philogene’s outrageous angled rabona goal for Hull City, which helped to sink Rotherham United and is already generating Puskás Award buzz ten months before the trophy is next given out.

It’s brilliant. It’s audacious. It’s utterly beautiful, as long as you aren’t Oliver Rathbone, the midfielder who was unfortunate enough not only to give the ball away to former Aston Villa forward Philogene in the first place, but also to get sat right down on his backside when he attempted to win it back. If you haven’t seen it, then take a quick look here…

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There’s just one tiny, miniscule problem. Just one slight, technical issue which guarantees that it won’t – can’t – win the Puskás. It was an own goal. A deflection off of Cameron Humphreys gave it the angle and spin to curl back inside the far post and away from the desperate, clawing grasp of the goalkeeper.

It may be the most disappointing deflection in the history of the EFL, but the blunt fact remains that it wasn’t Philogene’s goal, and own goals can’t win the Puskás no matter how aesthetically pleasing they might be. Sorry, Jaden.

As disappointing as the truth may be in this instance, however, it isn’t the only goal scored this season that could be worth the attention of the Puskás panel when they convene at the end of the year. Here are five more humdingers picked out from the lower echelons of the league ladder from the 2023/24 season, none of which involved a lucky deflection…

Ryan Hedges – Blackburn Rovers v Watford

Blackburn's Hedges started the season off in fine style with this circus act at Ewood Park. One touch to control, a second to dink the ball in the air to beat the man, a couple more to imitate a performing seal pinging a ball up and down on its nose, and then one last one to lash the ball home from an improbably narrow angle. One can only imagine that after the first couple of juggles came off he just realised that he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself if he didn’t have a crack.

Wesley Hoedt – Watford v Hull City

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Speaking of players who just had a “what the hell” moment, here’s Dutch centre-half Wesley Hoedt finding the perfect parabolic curve with an effort from barely a few yards inside Hull’s half. Why did he go for a shot in the first place? Nobody really knows, probably including Hoedt himself, but we’re all glad that he did. Well, except for Hull goalkeeper Ryan Allsop, who must have had a terrible sinking feeling from the split second the ball started coming his way.

Wes Burns – Ipswich Town v Coventry City

Scored on the very same day as Hoedt’s ludicrous long bomb and just as brilliant whilst being completely different in every regard. This goal highlights everything Kieran McKenna’s Ipswich have done so well for much of this season – a lovely team move which sees the Tractor Boys play it sharply out from the back, followed by a typically accurate longer ball forward, and then… well, they don’t score 25-yard outside-of-the-foot curlers every week, admittedly. A lovely goal to cap some cracking football.

Harrison Biggins & Ben Close – Doncaster Rovers v Forest Green Rovers

What’s better than scoring one absolutely brilliant goal? Scoring two, naturally. And even better than that is when one of the goals is scored by a player called Harrison Biggins, whose name is somehow superior to the overhead kick he scored to put Doncaster 1-0 up down at a beleaguered Forest Green. Also superior was the 96th-minute goal that followed from Ben Close – a sublime curling effort from an obscene distance and angle. Imagine scoring a bicycle kick and not even bagging the best goal of the day. Happily, both strikes are featured on this brief video…

Zac Ashworth – Bolton Wanderers v Carlisle United

Finally, a sublime finish from League One to wrap things up. ‘Angled instep volleys from a cross which came in at a pleasingly similar angle’ is an admittedly niche genre, but perhaps one of the best in the entire goalscoring canon, as 21-year-old Zac Ashworth nearly demonstrates with this gorgeous finish against Carlisle, his first goal in professional football. A perfectly-weighted ball, a gloriously-judged finish, a scrambling goalkeeper and the ideal camera angle to catch it all. A sublime goal all round and one heck of a way to open your account.

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