Top 10 goals of the March FIFA international fixture window
The March FIFA international fixture window is in the books, with teams taking steps forward in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying, 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifying and preparations for Euro 2016.
Amid the international soccer bonanza were some top individual efforts worthy of another look. Leicester City's standouts Jamie Vardy, Shinji Okazaki and N'Golo Kante all scored quality goals, while some of CONCACAF's finest lived up to their billing. In Africa, a goal from long, long range opened eyes all over the world, while some of the best free-kick takers in Europe brought their skill to the international level.
Here are 10 of the best strikes from around the world from the March window, presented in no ranking order:
Jesus Corona, Mexico vs. Canada
Tecatito's stock continues to rise, and you can see why after this spin-and-fire in El Tri's 2-0 win on Tuesday, which clinched a place in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying hexagonal:
Oscar Boniek Garcia, Honduras vs. El Salvador
The Houston Dynamo midfielder took down this clearance attempt with his chest and laced a left-footed volley to help Honduras in its 2-0 World Cup qualifying win:
Hlompho Kekana, South Africa vs. Cameroon
Kekana's audacious strike from well beyond the midfield line helped the Bafana Bafana in a 2-2 draw vs. the Indomitable Lions in their African Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday:
Sebastian Perez, Colombia vs. Ecuador
Perez's flying karate kick was perfectly timed and aided Colombia in dealing Ecuador its first loss in six CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers:
Shinji Okazaki, Japan vs. Afghanistan
The control, the nutmeg, the finish. Okazaki marked his 99th cap with Japan with this fantastic goal in World Cup qualifying:
Jamie Vardy, England vs. Germany
Another Leicester City front man, Vardy continued to prove his worth to Roy Hodgson as Euro 2016 approaches, with two class finishes against traditional European powers Germany and the Netherlands. His back-heel against the Germans, though, was something special:
Harry Kane, England vs. Germany
With Johan Cruyff's passing just the day before, it was poetic that Kane came up with a Cruyff Turn in his solo effort to spark England's come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the reigning World Cup champion:
Hakan Calhanoglu, Turkey vs. Austria
The Bayer Leverkusen free-kick master was at it again with Turkey, curling his right-footed attempt from just outside the box inside the upper left-hand corner (as a bonus, it includes Arda Turan's deft chip for Turkey's winner):
Dimitri Payet, France vs. Russia
Not to be outdone, Payet's proficiency from set pieces was on display in the clash of the Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018 hosts, as he delivered from over 30 yards out to celebrate his 29th birthday:
Romelu Lukaku, Belgium vs. Portugal
This wasn't so aesthetically beautiful as much as it was notable for Lukaku being set up by his brother, Jordan. The cross from the left was inch-perfect, but how often do brothers get to connect for goals on a big stage? It certainly gave the Belgians something to celebrate after the terrorist attacks in Brussels last week.