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...
15. Tony Popovic
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.
13. Lee Dixon
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.
12. Djimi Traore
"Don't blame it on Biscan; don't blame it on Hamann; don't blame it on 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 third round in 2005.
11. Assaf Mendes
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.
10. Jamie Pollock
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 QPR 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.
9. Mohammad Shatnawi
To be fair to Al-Faisaly goalkeeper Shatwani, his defence was hardly faultless in the concession of Al-Wehdat’s second goal in this Jordanian derby. A long pass from the back wasn’t adequately dealt with, and 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 own head and into the unguarded goal behind him.
8. Santiago Vergini
Sunderland have turned in more than their fair share of poor performances in recent years, but there haven’t been many as listless as their 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.
7. Frank Queudrue
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 the future Middlesbrough and Fulham man's huge volley beat goalkeeper Guillaume Warmuz all ends up.
6. Wayne Hatswell
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.
5. Mickael Roche
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.
4. Ethiopian goalkeeper, Anon
Try as we might, FFT couldn't find the name of this poor chap – which is how he'd prefer it to stay, we presume. We bring you to the Ethiopian Premier League and a match between Fasil Kenema and Welwalo Adigrat, which finished 1-0 to the hosts after this almighty cock-up from Welwalo's netminder. Lord only knows what was going through his head as he looked to sling the ball out to his full-back, but he was driven to distraction enough to simply throw the ball into his own net. Our favourite part is when he tries to play on hoping nobody's noticed.
3. Adrien Gulfo
Gulfo probably never imagined gaining worldwide notoriety as sixth-tier footballer in Switzerland, but here he is. The midfielder scored this stunning bicycle kick own goal in a Vaudoise Cup semi-final match between Pully Football and FC Renens – sadly for him, while his side were already losing 2-1. His first touch to control the ball was... er, heavy; but still more successful than his second – an acrobatic effort from an impossible angle. Glorious.
2. Chris Brass
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.
1. Festus Baise
Even after multiple viewings it's 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 wouldn't 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.