The 15 worst (or best) own goals of all-time, featuring Pollock, Popovic and Mohammad ShatnawiTheres nothing quite asignominous in football as sticking one in your own net but, as Greg Lea discovers, some culprits are much worse than others...
There was no danger whatsoever. A long Coventry clearance sailed through to Arsenal right-back Lee Dixon, who took a couple of touches and assessed his options. Unfortunately for the Gunners, his final decision was not a good one: Dixon severely overcooked his backpass, inadvertently chipping the ball over the head of goalkeeper David Seaman and into the back of the net.
Even after multiple viewings it is difficult to decipher Baise’s intentions. The cross from Hong Kong FC’s Jack Sealy was underhit and unlikely to find a team-mate, but Baise had clearly calculated that a simple header away would not suffice. The Sun Hei centre-back instead opted for an extraordinary scorpion kick and could only watch in despair as the ball flew into the far corner.
It feels rather unfair to label this an own goal, given the decisive role played by the elements. In a practice match against Dynamo Kyiv, Maccabi Tel-Aviv goalkeeper Mendes was beaten by his own kick, which sailed forwards before being blown back over his head by the wind. Even the Britannia Stadium on a Tuesday night’s got nothing on this.
Sunderland have turned in more than their fair share of poor performances in recent years, but there haven’t been many as listless as in the 8-0 thrashing by Southampton in 2014/15. That hefty defeat was kicked-off by a bizarre own goal from Vergini, who must have forgotten at which end of the pitch he was situated when he decided to volley the ball into the bottom corner from just inside his own penalty area.
Poor Christoph Kramer: type the German’s name into YouTube and the first two suggestions lead to videos of him being knocked out in the World Cup final and scoring a remarkable own goal against Borussia Dortmund. The midfielder got a bit too much on his pass back to goalkeeper Yann Sommer, who could only watch in horror as the ball pitched inside the six-yard box and bounced into the net.
Queudrue’s effort against Bastia is a classic example of the “if he tried that a thousand times…” type of own goal. Keen to whack the ball as far away from his side’s half of the pitch as possible, the Lens defender went with his left foot when he should have used his right, a fatal decision that backfired when his huge volley beat goalkeeper Guillaume Warmuz all ends up.
There's nothing worse in football than scoring an own goal, with the notable exception of scoring an own goal by booting the ball into your own face and breaking your nose in the process. That’s exactly what happened to poor Chris Brass in Bury’s clash with Darlington in 2006, the ball cannoning into the defender’s hooter after a botched overhead clearance.
Thumping a bouncing ball into the top corner must be a pretty satisfying feeling, but Gajic would’ve taken no pleasure from this strike in 2014. Both St Gallen and Young Boys players failed to bring a looping ball under control, so Gajic stepped up and hammered a left-footed half-volley into his own goal. Pick that one out.
Popovic’s glorious effort against Portsmouth is arguably the most aesthetically pleasing own goal on this list. The Crystal Palace centre-back met Steve Stone’s cross with a lovely right-footed flick, which clipped the far post and hit the back of the net before Julian Speroni could clamber across his goal.
If you wanted to show any centre-forward how to keep calm in front of goal, this Lauren clip would be essential viewing if it weren’t for the fact the finish came at the wrong end of the pitch. The Cameroonian’s first touch sent him into his own penalty box and, with Trevor Sinclair breathing down his neck, he couldn’t help but fire the ball into Arsenal’s goal.
To be fair to Al-Faisaly goalkeeper Shatwani, his defence was hardly faultless in the concession of Al Wihdat’s second goal in this Jordanian derby. A long pass from the back wasn’t adequately dealt with, before the opposition striker rode a challenge far too easily, but Shatwani still had a chance to snuff out the danger after saving the initial shot. Instead, he stuck out a leg and inexplicably hooked the ball over his head and into the unguarded goal behind him.
It seems to be the sight of an opposition forward closing him down that flummoxed goalkeeper Roche, whose attempted pass went horribly wrong and trickled into his own net from a very tight angle. Following the failed kick, the Tahitian bent over, placed his hands on his knees and simply watched the monumental error unfold.
Even the cameraman was fooled. Hatswell seemed to have the situation under control despite the fact the ball was creeping towards Forest Green’s goal-line; rather than putting it behind for a corner or out for a throw-in, however, the centre-half scuffed it into the top corner. Look out for goalkeeper Steve Perrin’s plea for calm and subsequent pained reaction, which makes the own goal even better.
Don't blame it on the Biscan, don't blame it on the Hamann, don't blame it on the Finnan, blame it on Traore. He just can't, he just can't, he just can't control his feet. So sung Liverpool fans to the tune of Blame it on the Boogie following Djimi’s pirouette against Burnley, which essentially dumped the Reds out of the FA Cup in the third round in 2005.
Pollock’s is probably the most famous own goal in English football history, and with good reason too. After flicking the ball over a Manchester City team-mate and Queens Park Rangers striker, the defender demonstrated superb composure to cushion a perfectly-weighted header over Martyn Margetson and into the open net behind him. Worst of all, the goal essentially made sure of City’s relegation to the third tier, while simultaneously keeping QPR up.