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On Sept. 15, 2016, Omar Colley (Genk) and Rafael Santos (Gabala) were the first to put the ball in their own teams’ net during the group stage of the 2016-17 European club’s championships. However, according to World Football, there is nothing unusual in scoring that type of goal. During a single European cup season, nearly 300 soccer players have made this mistake, which is called an own goal.
According to The Free Dictionary, an own goal is a successful attempt at scoring, however, the ball goes into the net of the player’s team. It is usually the result of a mistaken play, such as a misdirected pass, and it puts the opposing team in the lead. Occasionally, the players use this kind of goal as a protest tool. In 2002, a Madagascan team, Stade Olympique l’Emyrne, protested against alleged refereeing bias by scoring 149 own goals, according to ESPN.
World Cup Goal Mishaps
The FIFA World Cup first took place in 1930. Throughout the years, FIFA organized 20 final tournaments, engaging national teams from across the world. 41 players scored in their own team’s net during these competitions.
The first recorded own goal happened during the World Cup tournament in 1930. Manuel Rosas, from Mexico, scored it in the first round game against Chile. However, some other athletes and teams obtained more remarkable performances. For example, according to FIFA, the national crew of Trinidad & Tobago is the only team that scored more goal mishaps than regular ones.
- In 2006, the Paraguayan Carlos Gamarra decided the result of the match against England, scoring the only goal of the game in his team’s net.
- Bulgaria is the only team that scored two own goals during the same tournament. Along with Mexico and Spain, the Bulgarian crew is in the history of the World Cup for scoring the most own goals overall.
- In 1978, Ernie Brandts, the Netherlands, became the only athlete that put the ball in the net for both teams, thus, scoring a regular and an own goal.
- The 1998 World Cup tournament had the most goals scored into the team’s own net; six total.
- In the last World Cup competition, France was the team that benefited from two own goals scored by their opponents, Nigeria and Honduras.
Euro Cups Goal Mishaps
The UEFA European Championship’s first edition took place in 1960. Throughout the years, UEFA organized 15 final tournaments, engaging national teams worldwide. Nine players scored in their own team’s net during these competitions.
In 1976, Anton Ondrus, representing Czechoslovakia, scored the first ever own goal in a European Cup. At the 2016 UEFA Euro, three soccer players changed the results of the matches involving their teams.
- Netherlands is the team that benefited from the most own goals scored by their opponents: Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Portugal.
- Only one of the nine own goals scored in a European Cup edition happened in the first half of the match, while the other eight occurred in the second half.
Women Score Goal Mishaps Too
Women soccer players also score goal mishaps. According to Complex, in 2015, Laura Bassett scored one of the most devastating own goals of all time. As a result of her putting the ball in her team’s net, Japan defeated England and qualified for the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Other statistics regarding goal mishaps during FIFA Women’s World Cup games:
- Julia Campbell, representing New Zealand, scored the first ever own goal in the first Women’s World Cup tournament, in 1991.
- The United States team scored the most own goals in the history of the Women’s World Cup.
- 16 female soccer players scored in their own team’s net during the seven World Cup editions to date.
The own goals can ruin a team’s effort to win a trophy or to maintain its position in a league. However, sometimes the goal mishaps do not affect the result, but they entertain the audience. In the video below, there are 10 of the funniest mishaps of all time.
By Bianca-Ramona Dumitru
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Complex: Top 10 Most Devastating Own Goals of All Time
ESPN: Team repeatedly scores own goals to protest refs
FIFA: 1930 FIFA WORLD CUP URUGUAY
The Free Dictionary: own goal
World Football: Champions League + European Cup
Image Courtesy of Álvaro Campo’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License