Scoring an own goal is the most humiliating thing that can happen on the pitch, and it can also have an enormous impact on the entire game. Scoring an own goal can shake a player's confidence and make them a weak point on the team, and for their teammates it can be incredibly disheartening and also cause you to lose some faith in the player who made the crucial error. In addition to this, it can also see the opposing fans pick on the player and galvanise the opponents to go on and take advantage of the gift that your team just presented them.
Sometimes you can’t help but feel sorry for the culprit, no matter where your loyalties lie. Own goals can be unavoidable and harsh at times, as it may go down as an own goal if the ball takes a big deflection off the player, there may be a communication breakdown with the goalkeeper, or they may put the ball in their own net as they are trying to clear it off the line. Sometimes though, you have to wonder what was going through their head as they make outrageous decisions and catastrophic errors that stun the entire stadium and leave their managers shaking their head. There are a few players that seem to have a habit of putting the ball in their own net (even in the same game!), which makes you wonder how their team mates feel each game lining up alongside them. Some of the most reliable, smart players in the game have scored unbelievable own goals, demonstrating that it can happen to anyone when you tune out or make the wrong decision.
An entertaining, humiliating and sometimes bizarre moment in soccer, own goals are a key part to the game and there are a number of outrageous ones each year. Here are a collection of the most embarrassing own goals of all time.
Click the button below to start this article in quick view
15 Peter Enckelman (Aston Villa v Birmingham 2002)
One of the worst times to score an own goal is during a derby game, and unfortunately for Peter Enckelmann, his was an absolute howler. The goalkeeper received the ball at his feet from a throw in, and under no pressure at all, the Finn somehow failed to control and let the ball slowly roll past him and into the back of the net. Enckelman got the slightest touch on the ball, causing the goal to stand. The Villa goalkeeper was distraught, his teammates were baffled and the Birmingham fans were ecstatic, with one even running onto the pitch to taunt Enckelman for his shocking blunder.
14 Djimi Traoré (Liverpool v Burnley 2005)
Djimi Traore demonstrated the skill that made him a Champions League winner in an F.A Cup tie with Burnley in 2005, but unfortunately for Traoré and Liverpool it was at the wrong end of the pitch. Attempting to deal with a cross, Traoré brilliantly let the ball come across him before turning it in with a silky spin move. It was one of the most memorable goals in the FA Cup and showed amazing skill, but just in the worst possible place to perform such an impressive move.
13 Marco Materazzi (Inter Milan v Empoli 2006)
Marco Materazzi had a moment of madness during a game with Empoli in 2006, deciding to loft the ball over his own keeper from just inside his own half. A simple back pass would have sufficed, but Materazzi inexplicably hoofed the ball back, leaving his dumbstruck goalie only able to turn and watch the ball sail over his head and into the net. That’s one I’m sure Zinedine Zidane enjoyed, as Materazzi is the Italian defender that the Frenchman head butted in the 2006 World Cup Final.
12 Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal v Cologne 2011)
Poor Carl Jenkinson had only just joined Arsenal when he scored this spectacular own goal, but fortunately for the young Englishman it was just a friendly. Jenkinson tracked back to cover a deep cross, but seemed surprised when he reached the ball before his opponent. Unsure what to do, Jenkinson attempts a clearance but ends up lobbing his own keeper from 25 yards. Not the greatest way to impress your new manager, and Jenkinson struggled to break into the Arsenal back line and is now out on loan at West Ham. Jenkinson can take some comfort knowing that he is not the first Arsenal right back to score a horror own goal (see further down).
11 Vincent Kompany (Manchester City v Fulham 2013)
Vincent Kompany is one of the best and most reliable centre backs in the Premier League, but he also scored one of the funniest own goals of the last few years when his team visited Craven Cottage. A comedy blooper and one that would be impossible to replicate, Kompany attempted to clear a cross coming across the six-yard box, but could only slice the ball. This looped the ball high up into the air, over the goalkeeper and towards the back post; Kompany twirled a full 360 degrees as the ball was in the air, before seeing it hit the post and land in the back of the net. Kompany would have the last laugh though, as City would finish the season champions whilst Fulham would face the drop.
10 Christoph Kramer (Borussia Monchengladbach v Borussia Dortmund 2014)
As this list demonstrates, passing back to your goalkeeper can be a risk. You would think that players would be aware of this and check the keeper’s position before smashing the ball in the direction of your own goal, but this does not seem to be the case. Kramer came to meet a pass at midfield from a defender, and was even facing in the direction of his own goal. Without looking up, he lofted a powerful right footer from half way which flew over the keeper, bounced once and landed in the back of the net. This was the only goal of the game, and ended his team's 18-game unbeaten streak. Whoops.
9 Jonathan Walters (Stoke v Chelsea 2013)
Jonathan Walters must have been relieved to hear the final whistle in a 2013 game against Chelsea, as the forward had one of the worst games in professional football. Right at the end of the first half, Walters came out of nowhere to put a diving header past his own keeper, giving Chelsea the advantage going into the break. Changing ends at half time did little to change his fortune, as in the 61st minute Walters headed into his own net again to double Chelsea’s lead. Fortunately for Walters he did not get a hat trick, and even got a chance to repair some of the damage with a penalty at the end of the game (despite trailing 4-0). It was clearly not going to be his day however, as Walters could only smash his effort against the bar. It was also his 100th Premier League appearance.
8 Franck Quedrue (Bastia v RC Lens 2001)
Sometimes you will see defenders try to clear danger by just taking a swing at the ball, but this can be a risky strategy as it could end up anywhere. This is what Quedrue learnt the hard way, as when the ball came to him about 40 yards from his own goal (you would think this would be a safe distance), he smashed the ball only to see it fly towards his own net. The ball bounced between the goalkeeper and the goal, but there was nothing the keeper could do to keep the ball from crossing the line.
7 Tony Popovic (Crystal Palace v Portsmouth 2004)
If scored at the right end, this would have been a contender for goal of the season from Australian defender Tony Popovic. As the ball comes into the box, Popovic instinctively flicks the ball on with his heel as he runs to the near post, the ball then beautifully flies into the top corner, leaving the goalkeeper completely stranded. Gianfranco Zola once scored a similar goal against Norwich in the F.A Cup, and the Italian would have been proud of this one (provided it was in the right goal of course).
6 Tomislav Piplica (Energie Cottbus v Borussia Monchengladbach 2002)
Goalkeepers will often score own goals as they are the last line of defence, but often these will not be their fault. It is hard to shift the blame for this shocker however, from the Bosnian keeper who is famous for a number of calamitous mistakes. With his team leading by a goal with minutes remaining, a shot was fluffed from outside the box which flew up into the air. Some players turned their back as it looked as if it would be a routine catch for Piplica, who watched the ball closely as it descended from great height. Piplica would watch the ball but not react, seeing it hit his head and tumble into the net. He then fell backwards into the goal, just to add to the comedy. The phrase “doing a Piplica” soon caught on.
5 Lee Dixon (Arsenal v Coventry 1991)
The Arsenal backline was feared throughout the 1990’s, with Lee Dixon being integral to their success. The right back finally appeared human in a 1991 clash with Coventry however, as he made the fatal mistake of not checking where his goalkeeper was before making a back pass (which he also massively over-hit). This saw Dixon chip David Seaman with what can only be described as a sensational lob from 30 yards. If it was going the right way, that would be one that the top strikers in the world would struggle to replicate.
4 Bernard Parker (South Africa v Ethiopia 2013)
Another own goal that, if scored at the right end, would have been an incredible finish. This one took place in an important World Cup qualifier, where the score was level with just 20 minutes to go. Parker had already scored for South Africa, but was now tasked with defending a free kick from out wide. The ball was whipped in and somehow the striker, who was just inside the penalty area, delivered a rocket of a header which fllew into the top corner. The power he got into the header was incredible, and the placement would have been perfect if it was past the opposing keeper.
3 Festus Baise (Sun Hai v Citizen AA 2011)
A freak own goal which would be impossible to recreate has made Festus Baise an internet sensation, as he scored an incredible reverse scorpion kick which stunned his teammates, the opposition and every single fan in the stadium. As the ball comes into the box the Nigerian defender acrobatically tries to clear, sending the ball high into the air and over everyone’s head, before it dropped perfectly in his own net. Nobody knew how to react, and Baise was left on his back in the penalty area, staring up at the heavens, wondering what he was thinking trying such an odd clearance.
2 Jamie Pollock (Manchester City v QPR 1998)
This sensational own goal from Jamie Pollock not only displayed incredible technique; it was also in a vital relegation scrap game which his team would lose. Pollock intercepted a throw in by flicking the ball high over his opponent, and by that point he was travelling at great speed towards his own goalkeeper (who began to look slightly terrified). Pollock sprinted into his own box, darted around an opponent and without the ball hitting the ground, he sent a looping header over the goalie. It was tremendous technique and similar to Paul Gascoigne’s superb Euro 96 goal, but this one had the entire nation laughing instead of celebrating.
1 Chris Brass (Bury v Darlington 2006)
There really isn't an own goal that you could score which could be more embarrassing than Chris Brass’s, who is one of the better known lower league players purely because of this own goal. Attempting to clear the ball over his head as the ball came into the box, Brass could only manage to smash the ball straight into his own face, before it cruelly bounced past the keeper into his own goal. You can’t help but feel sorry for Brass, who was left with a broken nose, a bruised ego, disappointed teammates and the title of the best own goal of all time.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!