Ben Garuccio has woken up on Monday morning as the scorer of one of the great A-League Men goals in Western United’s thrilling 3-2 win over Western Sydney Wanderers.
Not only did the United left-back score a crisp drive in the first-half for his first professional goal in four years, but he topped it off with an outrageous scorpion kick in the second period.
After continuing his run into the box, Garuccio got on the end of a delicate outside of the foot cross from Aleksandar Prijovic before plunging for an acrobatic strike that flew into the net at the near post.
Garuccio talked through what was going through his mind as it happened.
“It’s one of those where you see the ball, it comes behind me a bit and I just sort of thought ‘let me try and watch it as best I can and throw my leg at it’,” he said.
“I did it at training a few weeks ago and faceplanted! So if at first you don’t succeed, you pick yourself up and try again and I was glad it came off.”
Prijovic had the best seat in the house as he watched his cross bend towards Garuccio in the box, and he had a cheeky message for his teammate for the next match after assisting both of his goals.
“Those are the sort of balls that I want to get for myself! So Benny owes me two for the next games,” he said.
“Definitely a beautiful goal today from Benny and I’m sure we’re going to remember that one.
John Aloisi was no stranger to a spectacular goal himself throughout his playing days, but even he said this is one of the best that he has ever seen.
“I didn’t actually realise how he hit it. I saw the action, I saw Aleks put a beautiful ball in and then all of a sudden I see the ball in the back of the net,” he said.
“I didn’t know if he did a bicycle kick or what until I saw it on the screen – I just couldn’t believe it. It was some goal. He’s probably in line for a Puskas Award for goal of the year around the world.”
Is Ben Garuccio’s goal the best ever in the A-League Men?
Riley McGree scored a similar scorpion kick that made the 10-goal shortlist for the Puskas Award in 2018, FIFA’s award for the best goal scored across the world each year.
Garuccio’s effort will surely have him in a similar position and could see him in the running to win the award at the end of the year.