To fans in a football match, there is nothing more heartbreaking than their own player scoring against their own team – Own Goal!. These genre of goals linger painfully in the minds of the unfortunate scorers and their fans, but are pleasing to the opponents and opposing fans for a very long time.
Completesportsnigeria.com's IZUCHUKWU OKOSI presents, arguably, the 16 most unpopular own goals in football history – from the most stupid to the very bizzare.
You remember a different own goal incident, use the 'LEAVE A REPLY' field at the base of this write-up, describe it and post.
1. LEE DIXON – Arsenal v Conventry (September 7, 1991)
Lee Dixon scored a goal against his team Arsenal in 1991 which The Gunners fans has hated to remember. The right-back was not to be blamed for a supposed back pass to goalkeeper David Seamans as the Gunners aimed to build up play from defence. But Dixon would wish it only happened during a training session.The eunfortunate incident took place in the match between Arsenal and Conventry at Highbury.
Dixon received the ball which was cleared by Coventry City keeper. Instead of playing the ball on the ground, of which he had lots of space for, he decided to lob the ball to his keeper without checking his position and the ball went over the head of Seamans and into the back of the net. First class howler!
2. CHRIS BRASS – Bury v Darlington (April 22, 2006)
In an attempt to perform an over-head clearance against fellow lower division side Darlington, Chris Brass, a player of Bury in 2006, accidentally kicked the ball into his face which deflected into his own goal post. He almost broke his nose in the process for his troubles! Poor Chris.
The incident was voted as number one in FourFourTwo magazine's "It Shouldn't Happen To A Footballer" moments.
3. FESTUS BAISE – Citizen AA v Sun Hei (December 19, 2011)
Oh yes, there is a Nigerian among the 'own goal artistes'.
It all went awfully wrong for unknown Nigerian defender, Festus Baise, who attempted a 'reverse scorpion kick' volley in 2011 when he was playing for Hong Kong side, Citizen AA. Nigerians indeed travel far and wide to make ends meet, football reasons inclusive. But you don't care about that, do you?
Baise's attempt at an acrobatic clearance from a cross into his team's penalty box in a game against Sun Hei led to his lobbing the ball over his own head and into the net with the goalkeeper's best effort to save the ball proving abortive. The speed of the ball made it all the more enjoyable to see again, for the opposing fans though.
Baise's team-mates offered him their hands of support and lifted him up after falling crestfallen to the ground.
4. EMOHAMMED SHATWANI – Al Faisaly v Al Whidat ( April 19, 2015)
This one happened in Jordan. Mohammed Shatnawi was in goal for Al Faisaly in a league game against fierce rivals, Al-Wehdat.
This fixture brings lots of emotions and bragging rights to the supporters of both teams. Al Faisaly had not won a league game in seven matches so it was a match they must not lose, the supporters thought. What do they know?
The Jordonian national team goal keeper fumbled a save from a tame shot and as the ball looped up, and despite being under no pressure from any opposition players, Shatwani in his own wisdom, decided to attempt an over-head kick clearance. Instead, he chipped the ball into his net despite having one of his teammates waiting to collect the ball right in front of him. 1-0 then became 2-0. The game eventually ended 3-0 against Shatwani's team.
5. JAMIE POLLOCK – Man City v QPR (April 25, 1998)
Jamie Pollock was a Manchester City defender when he scored a goal that any top striker would love to have scored,but unfortunately, it was against his own team.
After intercepting a cross from the opponent, Pollock flicked the ball over a QPR foward and then in an attempt to head the ball into his keeper's arm, he ended up putting the ball into his own net with a fine header, leaving his keeper no chance.
The match ended 2-2 and a week later, City, who were not as rich as they are these days, were relegated to the third tier of the League for the first time and QPR stayed up. If Pollock didn't score that own goal, City would have remained in the division and QPR relegated. What a life!
6. GARY SPRAKE – Leeds United v Liverpool (December 9, 1967)
This goalkeeper made many blunders but this own goal was spectucular. In a match against Liverpool in 1967, Sprake was about to throw the ball to team-mate, Willie Bell, but his incomprehensible throw is diverted into the net.
A song by musician Des O' Connor 'CARELESS HANDS' was played at half time and adopted by the Kop faithful every time Sprake played at Anfield.
7. KAMARL DUNCAN -Thurrock FC vs Romford (November 19, 2015)
Thurrock FC defender Kamarl Duncan was near the halfway line when he attempted to play the ball up-field but the winds, which raged at up to 70mph, ruined his plan.
As soon as the ball rose into the air, the wind picked it up and dragged it back towards the Thurrock FC goal.
The Thurrock FC keeper then misjudged the bounce of the ball from 40 yards away and the wind blew it through his hands and went into his own net for a goal some felt was an act of god! Mysterious!
What made it more heartbreaking was the fact that Duncan was playing in his first game since getting married!
8. DJIMI TRAORE – Liverpool v Burnley (January 18, 2005)
Mali international, Djimi Traore, scored an own-goal in the third round of the 2004–05 FA Cup against then Championship side Burnley, as he attempted a turn and drag-back within his own six-yard box.
Traoure actually ran back to cut out Richard Chaplow's cross in the 51st minute, but clumsily backheeled the ball into his own net.
It turned out to be the only goal of the game and handed Burnley a 1–0 victory over their Premiership opponents.
The UEFA Champions League winner's gaffe left his keeper and fans in shock, and the world laughing.
9. KEISUKE SHIMIZU – Oita Trinita vs Albirex Niigata (November 10, 2013)
In a bid to start a counter against J-League opponents, Albirex Niigata, Japanese keeper, Keisuke Shimizu, who currently plays for Kyoto Sanga FC, ruined a fine save because of his rush.
Shimizu did well to save from a corner kick but in his desperation to boot the ball out for a counter attack, he kicked the ball on his teammate's (Tatsuya Takana) backside which returned the ball into his own net. Albirex Niigata would go on to win 3-1. Back to sender!, you may say
10. CARL JENKINSON – Arsenal vs Cologne (July 23, 2011)
In a pre-season friendly on July 23 2011, Arsenal right-back, Carl Jenkinson, carried on the tradition of scoring own goals like most Arsenal right-backs (Lee Dixon, Lauren Etame Meyer). It comes with the territory, you might say.
His attempt to control or was it to pass the ball? (it was very confusing), led to his lobbing the ball high over Wojciech Szczesny from quite a distace and into his net. This will really crack you.
11. TONY POPOVIC- Crystal Palace vs Cardiff (September 11, 2004)
The current manager of Australian side, Western Sydney Wanderers, Tony Popovic played about 120 competitive matches for Crystal Palace and was a loyal servant to the Eagles, but there is an incident in Popovic's career which surely he will continue to have a nightmare about.
The defender delivered an artistic bent when scoring an own goal when Palace confronted Portsmouth on September 11 2004. His majestic hooked own-goal (in a bid to clear the ball, don't forget) during Palace’s 3-1 defeat to Portsmouth at Fratton Park in 2004 – a sublime effort, saw him get into Youtube "Hall-Of-Famer".
12. GARETH BALE -Tottenham vs Liverpool (November 28, 2012)
The world's most expensive player at £85m, Gareth Bale, was a player of Tottenham Hotspur in 2012 before his record-breaking, eye watering move to Real Madrid.
While still a player of the north Londoners, the Welshman scored a very funny own goal which he surely would not want to see too often.
Against Liverpool at White Hart Lane, an attempted goal-line clearance by Aaron Lenon from a Liverpool freekick went regretfully wrong. The ball hit Bale in the Spurs' 18-yard box- where it hurts most, his groin region, and rolled into the net.
13. ANDREAS ESCOBAR- USA vs Colombia (June 22, 1994)
Perhaps the most tragic and heartbreaking own-goal was scored by Colombia's Andreas Escobar in a 1994 World Cup finals Group A match against hosts USA at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena.
Escobar was stretching out to cut out a cross and clear the ball out of the penalty area, but unfortunately for him, the ball ended up in his team's net. He only meant well for his country.
His own-goal helped USA to a 2-1 victory and condemned Colombia to bottom place in the group and elimination from the competition.
A few days later, on his return to Colombia, Escobar was shot dead, the reason is uncertain but possibly on the orders of someone who had lost heavily on betting at USA '94. It was no surprise as betting syndicates and drug barons were rumoured to have had a big say on the players coach Francisco Maturana picked for the World Cup.
14. SAMMY NELSON- Arsenal vs Coventry (April 3, 1979)
Hell hath no fury like a Samuel Nelson scorned!
The Arsenal defender was severely criticised during a match by the Gunners fans for scoring an own goal against Coventry in an FA Cup game at Highbury in April 1979. Who doesn't make a mistake?
The player felt humiliated as his own fans constantly yelled at him. But he had his chance to revenge.
Nelson later scored at the right end of the pitch in the same game and duly went in front of his own fans to 'celebrate' his latest achievement.
Nelson dropped his shorts and showed his buttocks at the same Arsenal supporters who mocked him in what was later described as the 'mooning' celebration.
You could practically laugh stupidly at the fun, but the English FA banned Nelson for two weeks for his vengeful deed.
15. THE SIMONCINI BROTHERS – San Marino vs Sweden (September 7, 2010)
Brothers playing together for their national side is not that unusual. In England, there were the Charltons and Nevilles brothers, in Ghana comes the Ayew brothers (sons of Abedi Ayew 'Pele'), etc.
Interestingly, in San Marino, they have the Simoncini brothers; Aldo and Davide, who against Sweden in a World Cup qualifier played on Tuesday 7th September 2010, combined to record a unique international first.
In the 12th minute a cross from San Marino's Sebastian Larsson was put into their own net. Davide Simoncini, a defender, shot past his goalkeeper brother, Aldo Simoncini, in goal for San Marino. A quarter of an hour later 'keeper Aldo Simoncini scored an own-goal himself, steering the ball into his net from a Kim Kallstrom cross. Sweden won 6-0 in Malmo. Brothers Act!
16. JONATHAN WALTERS – Stoke vs Chelsea (January 12, 2013)
When a footballer marks his 100th cap for club or country, it is usually celebrated and a classy performance is expected to go with it.
But poor Jonathan Walters scored two own goals and missed a penalty as Chelsea thumped Stoke 4-0 to end the Potters' 17-game home unbeaten run in the 2012/2013 season in the Barclays Premier League.
Walters headed a Cesar Azpilicueta cross into his own net just before half-time and repeated the same from a Juan Mata corner.
Frank Lampard made it 3-0 from the spot after Mata was fouled and Eden Hazard smashed in a fourth from 30 yards out.
Walters' misery was completed when he blasted a late penalty against the bar.
The 29-year-old Republic of Ireland international won plenty of plaudits for his play for the Potters that season, but his 100th Premier League appearance turned into a nightmare.
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