Theyab Awana
Emirati footballer Theyab Awana, seen here in January 2010, who became an internet sensation this summer after scoring a back-heeled penalty, has been killed in a car crash © KARIM SAHIB - AFP/File
Theyab Awana
AFP
Last updated: October 13, 2011

Controversial penalty-taker Awana killed in crash

Emirati footballer Theyab Awana, who became an internet sensation this summer after scoring a back-heeled penalty, has been killed in a car crash, the country's football federation confirmed on Monday.

Awana died after his car collided with a lorry when travelling back from training in Al Ain to Abu Dhabi on Sunday, where he had been preparing for a World Cup qualifier against South Korea on October 11.

The 21-year-old midfielder hit the headlines for scoring a controversial 78th-minute penalty in the United Arab Emirates' 7-2 international friendly win over Lebanon in July.

Awana scored the penalty with his team already 6-2 up, nonchalantly jogging towards the ball, but then spinning 180 degrees at the last minute and scoring with a back-heeled kick.

He was shown a yellow card by referee Ali Hassan for his antics and a furious UAE coach Srecko Katanec hauled him straight off the pitch, despite Awana having only come on as a substitute 10 minutes earlier.

Team manager Ismail Rashed labelled the way the penalty was taken "disrespectful".

Footage of the penalty was subsequently circulated on the web and received well over a million hits on YouTube.

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