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Physical distancing in sport - before Covid-19

Published Apr 18, 2020


CAPE TOWN - The whole world is aware of what physical distancing is in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, there’s been some historic moments in sports where 'physical distancing' was made popular, long before the outbreak began.

We decided to give you a list of some of the greatest long range goals,run-outs and penalties sport has seen :

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 27-metre bicycle kick

The year is 2012 and England is playing against Sweden in a friendly opener at the Swede’s new stadium. Danny Welbeck and Steven Caulker replied to Zlatan’s opener making it 2-1 to England.

But by the 84th minute, Zlatan went on to score two more goals. He became the first person to score a hattrick against England since 1988. The legend's dismantling of England did not stop there.

The ball gets cleared by Sweden in their half and Zlatan, being chased by two defenders, goes after the loose ball. Joe Hart, England’s number one goalkeeper at the time, rushes out of his box and attempts to head the ball clear. The clearance does not go far, and from 27 metres out, Zlatan with his back to goal, bicycle kicks the ball.

Hart and the English defence could do nothing but watch the ball drop to the back of the net. Ending the game 4-2 to Sweden.

Dan Carter’s 60-metre penalty

The rivalry between South Africa and New Zealand needs no introduction. A highly controversial one due to the fan base of All Black supporters in Bok country.

Nevertheless, in 2006 the Boks took on their rivals at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria.

The All Blacks had a slight advantage right before half time at 13-11. After a foul was committed, and not enough time for a line out. Dan Carter does the seemingly impossible and lines up a shot at goal, from 60 metres away. To everyones surprise, Carter’s kick went the distance.

70-metre direct hit run out

The two heavyweights of international cricket, Australia and India, went head to head in the 1999/2000 tour down under. Australia manages a total of 441 runs in the first innings at Adelaide Oval and the Indians are currently at the crease at five runs with no wickets.

Sadagoppan Ramesh is at the non-striker’s end, while Devang Gandhi faces a full-length delivery by Glenn McGrath. Gandhi drives the ball down to the offside with the full face of the bat and it seems destined for four runs.

India's batting duo is complacent as they make their final run down the pitch while Greg Blewett is in hot pursuit. The Australian all-rounder catches up with the ball just before the boundary and calmly throws it. It went a distance of 70 metres making a direct hit at the non-striker’s end, forcing the umpire to show Ramesh the finger.

Leicester City’s 9-0 victory

On Leicester City’s 10th game of the 2019/2020 season, only a mere six months ago, the Foxes illustrated how physical distancing looks in a scoreline. They beat Southampton 9-0 on the Saints home ground.

Jaimie Vardy emulated his form in Leicester’s historic 2015 Premier League crowning. Scoring a hattrick, with team mate Ayoze Perez.

Ben Chilwell and Youri Tielemans added to the score sheet, along with a brilliant free-kick from midfielder James Maddison.

The Foxes broke records that day, by being the biggest victory by an away side in English first-tier football. The second team in Premier League history to record a five-goal lead in the first half. And providing Southampton’s biggest defeat in the club's history.

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