An own goal is generally one of the most embarrassing moments in football, although it is just another part of the game. Source: Wikimedia Commons
An own goal is generally one of the most embarrassing moments in football, although it is just another part of the game. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Facts about own goals that will leave you speechless

Football OlyBet 07.04.2024

Last week, the Latvian national football team did everything they could to ensure that their fans indeed were silent during the quiet Easter week. Namely, in the match against Liechtenstein, they managed to score an own goal in the 15th second of the game.

Mārcis Ošs became the anti-hero of the Latvians, but as the video confirms, it happened in cooperation with the goalkeeper Pāvels Šteinbors, who moved off the line. However, the latter should not be accused too much here, because this was a logical move.

As was the case with the Estonian national team’s goalkeeper Karl Jakob Heina in his 2020 match against North Macedonia, when Märten Kuusk unluckily kicked the ball into his own goal.

But the intention of this article is not to humiliate Latvians (and Estonians) but rather to wash away the shame. Olybet.TV dived into the bottomless ocean of the internet to bring you everything important about own goals.

There are charts, but…

Initially, we had planned to introduce you to the most productive own goal hitters in history, but after a brief research, it turned out that such a global record is not very popular and therefore not tracked in football circles. The track record is kept to some extent, but this information is incomplete.

Most of the rankings place Richard Dunne, a longtime Manchester City supporter, in first place. He sent the ball into his own goal ten times during his career. We can’t argue with that, just like we have to agree with Italians Franco Baresi and Riccardo Ferri sharing the second place with eight own goals.

However, we know that if the next men in the chart under question – Martin Skrtel, Jamie Carragher and Phil Jagielka with seven own goals – are brought forward, then there is already an error here. Because Rauno Tutki, the record holder of the Estonian Football Premier League, also has seven own goals to show for it, but none of the foreign sites showed him in their list.

Thus, it can be assumed that many smaller major leagues have been overlooked, both in Europe, Asia, America and Africa, so we cannot speak of any fundamental ranking.

So, we changed our focus and intend to bring you everything crucial regarding own goals. Now let’s hold on to the edge of our chairs and get ready to be amazed…

The fastest own goal in the world

The “honor” of the fastest own goal in football history belongs to Pat Kruse, an English player from Torquay, who managed to score an own goal in the sixth second of the game against Cambridge United on January 3, 1977, in the fourth league of England.

The centre-back explains how it happened: “Cambridge hit a long ball after the kick-off and their striker and winger were rushing towards me. Of course, it would have been easy for me to head the ball back to the midfield, but at the last moment I thought that if I headed it to the goalkeeper instead, we could start the game from behind.

What I didn’t know though was that our goalkeeper Terry Lee had moved off the line to catch the ball. He did try to warn me, but because he was stuttering, no words came out of his mouth at that moment. So, I assumed that he would continue to be in his place.

When Lee realized he couldn’t warn me, he decided to turn around but slipped on the icy field. At the same moment, however, I played the ball with my head, after which, when I turned, I saw that he was lying on the grass. And that’s how the ball rolled into the goal.”

Stop. Estonians have their say

Now, we Estonians, would like to interject at this point that the “honor” of the fastest own goal belongs to us instead – a strange thing to fight for, isn’t it?!

Namely, FC Kuressaare defender Jaanis Kriska is said to have sent the ball into his own goal a second faster in 2009. “It could have been in the fifth second,” Levadia assistant coach Marko Kristal said after the match. “I think it was in the fifth second indeed,” Dmitri Skiperski seconded him.

The head referee of the game, Ainar Kuusk, also supported the claim of the fifth second: “The ball was in the goal practically immediately after the opening whistle. Later I also spoke with [former soccer referee] Heigo Niilop, who was at the game, and he also thought that it was on the fifth second.”

But… since there is no video footage of that match –- there is no video of the match between Torquay and Cambdrige either, but there was a stopwatch report – it is not possible to prove Kriska’s world record goal.

Of course, this was fine by him. “To be honest, I don’t feel proud. I’m still an anti-hero,” said the defender, who got a red card at the beginning of the second half and ended his match with Levadia early.

Most own goals in a game

If scoring a single own goal already seems like quite the accident, imagine what it feels like to score two of them in one game. Or THREE?!

The Sheffield Wednesday football club was said to be the first to do it, in 1952. However, 20 years later, Ado Den Haag of the Netherlands took it to a new level when he managed to score three own goals before halftime in the UEFA Cup match against Wolves.

However, players have also managed to score three own goals in one game. For example, Democratia player Jorge Nino, in 1982 in a Brazilian Premier League match.

Or Beerschot Germinal’s Stan van den Buys, in the Belgian Premier League in 1995. However, in his case, it is believed, that Johan Walem was the actual “culprit” of the third own goal.

At the international level, no man has managed an own-goal hat-trick – Italian Sandro Salvatore and Singaporean Lim Tong Hai have scored twice in one game – but a woman has.

In 2022, New Zealander Meikayla Moore “succeeded” in this, thus helping the USA to a 5-0 victory.

However, one of the coolest own-goal moments comes from 1976, when Aston Villa player Chris Nicholl scored a total of four goals: two into his own net and two into Leicester’s net!

As a conclusion: a trip to Madagascar

In the 1960/61 season, the Catania club lost 0:5 to Milan Inter in Serie A and four of those goals were scored by their own men. Yet all this PALES in comparison to what happened in Madagascar in 2002.

Before we dive into the story, a bit about the background. Until 2019, the Madagascar champion was determined by dividing the 24 participating teams into four subgroups of six members. The top three in each group then advanced to the second round, where two groups of six were formed.

Then, the best two of both groups awaited a pass to the final round, or Groupe des As, where everything will be reset, and the champion will be determined by playing each other twice.

In 2002, however, the champion (Adema AS) was revealed already in the penultimate, fifth round, when the defending champion Stade olympique de l’Emyrne (SOE) could not manage more than a 2:2 draw against DSA Antananarivo. However, a dubious penalty awarded to Antananarivo in the last minute played a big role in this result.

The world record of own goals was born

Having lost the title, the players of SOE decided to protest against the champion Adema AS in the last match and after the opening whistle immediately sent the ball into their own net. And then again. And again. Until they had scored 149 own goals!

The result in question, 0:149, is also in the Guinness Book of Records as the highest football score of all time.

Of course, no good came out of this circus for the SOE club. Their head coach Ratsimandresy Ratsarazaka was given a three-year ban and four players, captain Manitranirina Andrianiaina, goalkeeper Dominique Rakotonandrasana also Mamisoa Razafindrakoto (who was the captain of the national team) and Nicolas Rakotoarimanana got banned until the end of the season.

All SOE results that year were also annulled and the whole saga ended four years later with the Stade olympique de l’Emyrne completely disappearing from the face of the earth.


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