There is nothing more embarrassing in a soccer match than scoring an own goal. This can let your team down, shake your confidence to its core, galvanize the opposition and, of course, result in endless mocking from the opposing fans. Sometimes you can’t help but feel sorry for the players that put the ball in their own net, and often it is completely unavoidable and they are at no fault whatsoever. This is not always true, however, as there have also been many unbelievable own goals which have come from a moment of complete madness for the player.
10. Vincent Kompany vs. Fulham (2013)
When picking an ultimate team, many people would select Man City center back Vincent Kompany. The Belgian rarely makes a mistake, is skilled, strong and a great leader. He would look very human in a game against Fulham in 2013, where he scored a bizarre and freak own goal which was completely out of character (which makes it even more humorous). As the ball comes across the six yard box, Kompany attempts to clear the danger at the near post, but does not get a clean connection. This sees the ball loop up into the air, sail over Joe Hart and fall into the opposite side of the goal. To add to the humor, Kompany rotated a full 360 degrees whilst the ball was in the air, before kneeling down in disbelief and embarrassment (and perhaps dizziness). Impossible to replicate, we’ll let Kompany off the hook for this one.
9. Christoph Kramer vs. Borussia Dortmund (2014)
As a member of the 2014 German World Cup winning team, you would think a player of Christoph Kramer’s pedigree would check where his goalkeeper was before playing the ball back to him. In a game against Borussia Dortmund in 2014, the 24-year-old defensive midfielder received the ball in the semicircle in his own half. Facing his own goal and under some pressure from the opposition, Kramer decided to play the ball back to his keeper with a first time ball. Despite facing in the direction of his own goal, Kramer failed to realize that his keeper was on the edge of the area, and sent the ball miles over his head to see it bounce once, before landing in the back of the net. The keeper perhaps should have been further back, but it was still a shocking pass and bad mistake from Kramer.
8. Franck Quedrue vs. Bastia (2001)
It takes something truly special to score from 40 yards out, and R.C. Lens’ Franck Quedrue certainly delivered in a match against Bastia in 2001. Unfortunately for Quedrue, his would end up in the wrong net, much to the amazement of his teammates (especially his goalkeeper) and the opposing players. In an attempt to clear the danger, Quedrue took an almighty swing at the ball whilst 40 yards from his own goal which sent it high into the sky. The ball could have ended up anywhere, and, of all places, it would end up in his own net after sailing over his goalkeeper and bouncing on the line. Defenders are taught to clear their lines when danger is mounting, but Quedrue’s wild clearance was with the wrong foot which is what sent it hurling towards his own goal instead of to safety.
7. Peter Enckelman vs. Birmingham (2002)
It is not uncommon for goalkeepers to score own goals. They are often unavoidable and due to the keeper attempting to stop the ball from crossing the line. Aston Villa’s Peter Enckelman scored a completely avoidable own goal in 2002, however, and to make matters worse, it was also in a derby game. This led to chaotic scenes, even seeing one Birmingham fan run onto the pitch to taunt the red-faced keeper. A teammate decided to toss the ball to Enckelman from a throw-in, and the keeper then attempted to control the ball with his feet. Under no pressure at all, Enckelman fails to control the ball, only managing to get a slight touch, helping it on into the back of his own net. Due to the slight contact, the goal would stand much to the dismay of his teammates and the joy of the Birmingham supporters.
6. Lee Dixon vs. Coventry (1991)
Lee Dixon did not make many mistakes throughout his career, but this was an absolute howler against Coventry in 1991. As a defender, you should always know where your goalkeeper is, particularly if you are playing the ball back to them. Under no pressure at all and from 30 yards from goal, Dixon decided to go back to David Seaman instead of playing the ball forwards, but he did not check behind him and also massively over hit the pass. This saw the ball fly over the keeper’s head and fall into the back of the net, much to the glee of the Coventry players and the absolute dismay of Dixon and his confused teammates. It is common to see defenders make bad back passes which the opponents get to first, but to see a right back lob his own keeper from 30 yards is truly something special.
5. Tomislav Piplica vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (2002)
“Doing a Piplica” is to make a calamitous mistake, and there have been many notable ones from the man himself, Tomislav Piplica. The Bosnian keeper’s most famous blunder came in a match against Borussia Monchengladbach in 2002, and truly is something special. A scuffed shot sailed high into the air and harmlessly towards Piplica, looking like a routine catch. Piplica was stood on his line and watched the ball as it fell towards him, but instead of reacting, he simply watched it bounce over his own head and into the back of the net. In cartoon-like fashion, Piplica also fell backwards into his own goal before crawling up in disbelief and embarrassment. To make matters worse, this occurred in the final few minutes of the game and as his team were defending a one goal lead. Despite this, Piplica is considered to be a cult goalkeeper and a fan favorite.
4. Festus Baise vs. Sun Hei (2011)
In 2011, Citizen AA’s Festus Baise would score an own goal that was so spectacular that it would turn him into an internet sensation. Playing in the Hong Kong first division against Sun Hei SC, Baise would attempt to acrobatically clear the ball from his own box. Instead of clearing the danger, the ball would rocket into the air and sail over everyone’s (including the goalkeeper’s) heads, before landing in the back of the net. To add to the comedy, Baise remained on his back in the penalty area, staring up at the sky in complete disbelief. It has since been described as a “reverse scorpion kick,” and had it fallen in the right net, it would have been hailed as one of the best ever goals. Instead, the Nigerian defender finds himself near the top of this list and amongst some truly shocking own goals.
3. Bernard Parker vs. Ethiopia (2013)
Poor Bernard Parker scored this astonishing own goal, which would end South Africa’s hopes of playing in the 2014 World Cup. Parker had already scored in the right net during the game, but ultimately he will feel he let his team down after scoring this shocker. With 20 minutes remaining, Ethiopia had a free kick which they whipped in to just inside the box. The striker jumped up to meet the ball, but inexplicably headed it back towards his own keeper. He got an incredible amount of power on the ball, and also, unfortunately, placed it right into the top corner of the net. Had he scored it in the right goal, it would have been a truly phenomenal header due to the power, placement and the distance that he scored from. Ethiopia celebrated wildly, resulting in a heated argument that broke out between the two teams.
2. Chris Brass vs. Darlington (2006)
Not only did this own goal leave Chris Brass with a bruised ego, but it also left him with a broken nose and a moment that will haunt him the rest of his life. This own goal is so comical that Brass has become somewhat of an internet sensation and is a well-known name in the soccer world, despite the fact that he was a lower league player. In 2006, Brass was playing for League 2 club Bury in a game against Darlington, and this is where he would score his now famous own goal. As the ball floated into the box, Brass (under no pressure) attempted to clear the ball over his head, but instead would kick it straight into his face. He then watched the ball trickle past the goalkeeper and into his own net, and had a broken nose to go along with a very red face.
1. Jamie Pollock vs. QPR (1998)
If Jamie Pollock had scored this goal in the right net, it would have been a contender for Goal of the Season in 1998. Unfortunately for Pollock and Man City, it was in the wrong net, and he instead finds himself on every “Top Own Goals” list ever created, and atop this one. Pollock managed to intercept a chipped pass by flicking the ball high over his opponent towards his own goal; he then weaved past the opponent and began sprinting towards his (very nervous) goalkeeper. Without the ball hitting the floor, Pollock then sent a beautiful looping header over his perplexed goalkeeper and the ball bounced into the back of the net. It was a truly bizarre own goal and one which was scored with extraordinary technique, but to make matters worse, it was also scored in a fierce relegation scrap match, which City would lose.