This is the pick of the crop of the many great goals that we saw in 2012. I have tried to provide links for all of them, but some just didn't make Youtube, so you'll just have to use your imagination.
While I did see a great deal of Football this past year, there were a lot of goals that I missed. If you know of any goals that deserve to be on this list, then do tell me about them on the the comments section.
My criteria for selection are two-fold: 1) the technical quality/degree of difficulty of the goal, and 2) the importance of the goal. Naturally a goal in a crucial competitive game is more valuable than one in a friendly.
There is a Goal Of The Year but I won't announce it in this post. I'll save that for another one. I have just decided to lay out all of these wonderful strikes in several categories in no particular order.
The Long Strikes.
Stephen Burda vs Global. Philippine Navy almost pulled off the upset of the league, just losing to Global 3-2. Burda's missile into the far top corner can take much of the credit.
Phil Younghusband vs Team James. Team Phil ran out 5-1 winners in the Clear Dream Match. This was one of the best strikes, Phil exploiting Ref Cuaresma's iffy positioning to the max from distance.
Ousseynou Diop vs Team James. On the same link you can catch Diop's wondrous turn and shot into the lower right corner. How he bends his body to shoot so accurately is what makes this one special.
Angel Guirado vs Guam I. Angel spots Guam's Dallas Jaye off his line and changes his kick from a cross to a shot. The result is magic.
Ernest Appiah vs Loyola Meralco Sparks. Pachanga went on to win this UFL Cup group game 2-1 thanks to a late winner from Ariel Zerrudo. But Ghanaian Ernest Appiah scored a piledriver from distance off a Freddy Gonzalez tee-up that Ref Cuaresma had no chance to stop.
Elle Cagayanan vs Forza. When Green Archers blanked their affiliate team 4-0 in the UFL Cup it was Cagayanan from La Paz, Iloilo, who served up the best goal. He collected a ball from outside the penalty box and coolly, almost lazily, delivered it into the far top corner. Pity no one videoed it.
Eddie Mallari vs Global. Global may have won their UFL Cup quarterfinal with Kaya, but Kaya's Mallari gets the best strike. From around 30 yards out his powerful right-footed shot just before half time canceled out Misagh Bahadoran's opener. When I asked him about the goal afterwards, his answer was priceless: “I remember crackin' it and that s**t goin' in.”
Masood Shadideh vs Global. Pasargad got their UFL Cup off on the wrong note, dropping their opener to Global 3-1. But this sensational Bicycle Kick from the Iranian left everyone in Rizal Memorial slack-jawed.
Dominic Mensah vs Kaya. Mensah is a defender, but he showed his attacking skill on this overhead goal for Nomads. Watch for it at 4:50 of this clip.
Mark Hartmann v Geylang United. Loyola Meralco Sparks' Singapore Cup campaign got off to a great start with a 2-1 win over Geylang. Mark Hartmann really impressed with this strike off a lovely ball from James Younghusband. It's a shame this choppy video doesn't do the goal justice. Check it out at 1:20.
Izo Elhabbib v Meralco. Who cares if this Bicycle Kick goal was wrongly disallowed by the referee because of a ludicrous dangerous play call? It's still a masterpiece. Pity keeper Gabby Vorbeck, who never saw it coming. It will come out at around 3:40 of the clip.
Ayi Nii Aryee vs UST. Very few people saw this goal during the 2nd round match between the two top teams in the UAAP in Ocampo Field in Ateneo. The Ghanaian plucked a loose ball from the air near the penalty area and rifled it home. It was Ayi's second goal of the game as UP grabbed the twice-to-beat advantage in the Finals.
Ronnie Aguisanda vs Nomads. Green Archers United Globe has a wingback who loves to press forward and attack. Against Nomads in the UFL League he bombed one in from long-range. Somewhere in AKTV's vaults is a video of the goal. I hope it ends up online sometime.
The Outside-Of-The-Boot Specials.
Tating Pasilan vs Air Force. As you can see by this video, it isn't just right-footed players who can banana the ball right-to-left around a wall. Lefties like Green Archers United Globe's Pasilan can do it too.
Jinggoy Valmayor vs U.S.T. For the second year in a row the U.P. Fighting Maroons striker scores in a UAAP Men's Football Final. U.P. wins the game 1-0 and complete their back-to-back title runs. Lovely interplay here between Goy and Jay Eusebio finished off by an unexpected poke.
Izo Elhabbib v Stallion. Global came up just short in the UFL Cup Final but this goal from the Sudanese sniper just after Balot Doctora put Stallion ahead is sheer delight.
Rufo Sanchez vs Sta Lucia IV. Rufo scored five goals for Stallion in their 6-0 rout of sister club Sta. Lucia in Marikina. His fourth is one of the prettier ones we saw all year. Great touch to kill the long ball then he eases it in with the logo of his boot. Start watching at 2:33. Actually, start watching from the beginning. The first three goals were awesome too.
Javier Arribas Rubio vs Philippine Air Force. The visiting CF Internacional de Madrid team pummeled Air Force 10-0, and this was the finest strike of them all, with Rubio running rings around the Airmen to score. Check it out at 3:24 of this video.
Misagh Bahadoran v Meralco. This game, a 4-3 win for Loyola, was full of great highlights, including this fine individual effort from Hollywood. Watch him evade a phalanx of Sparks to score at 1:10 here .
Angel Guirado vs Guam II. The big forward got just a sliver of the ball to redirect it into the net from distance. Neat stuff.
Patrick Reichelt vs Guam. The Fil-German produced a late winner with this clever goal in the Peace Cup to beat Guam 1-0. Reichelt spotted Doug Herrick off his line and made him pay.
The Big Game Heroics.
Phil Younghusband vs Tajikistan. Phil may have tapped it in, but what makes this goal amazing is the hard work and persistence of Angel Guirado to dispossess the Tajik defender and center the ball perfectly to his team mate.
Chieffy Caligdong vs Vietnam. The little fella delivered in the clutch with a cool finish to keep the Azkals afloat in the Suzuki Cup. While Caligdong kept his composure, Aaron Atayde and Ryan Fenix understandably lose theirs in the commentary booth.
Ian Araneta vs Meralco. Air Force salvaged a result with two goals in injury time in their UFL League clash, including this beauty from Araneta at the death. Watch him use his strength to ward off Jeong Byeong Yeol then slot one home for the equalizer. Final Score: 3-3. Start watching at 5:15 of the vid.
Phil Younghusband vs Myanmar. Phil broke his scoring drought with a calm and clever finish off a long Jason De Jong pass. This was the goal that sent the Azkals into the semifinals. Angel's late strike was the icing on the cake.
Any other candidates? Please post on the comments here or tweet me @bhobg333.