For quite a few top-level goalkeepers, 2018 is not a year they’ll look back on with particular fondness.
Hugo Lloris made an epic mistake in the World Cup final for France against Croatia, Loris Karius’s reputation was left tarnished beyond repair following his gaffe against Real Madrid in last season’s Champions League final, Thibaut Courtois has failed to impress at the Bernabeu following his move from Chelsea, while David de Gea was heavily criticised for his performances while playing for Spain in Russia.
Celtic’s Craig Gordon can add his name to the list of ‘keepers who’ll be glad to see the back of 2018 following his Karius-esque mistake against Red Bull Salzburg in the Europa League on Thursday evening.
Gordon cost his team a goal after Frederik Gulbrandsen nipped in and intercepted the experienced Scotland international’s attempted rolled pass to a teammate.
The 35-year-old desperately raced back to his goal in an effort to make amends for his mistake but, to his horror, Gulbrandsen found the back of the net.
Fortunately for the red-faced ‘keeper, however, Celtic still qualified for the last 32 of the Europa League thanks to a late Rosenborg goal in Leipzig.
Gordon, at the very least, owes Tore Reginiussen a Christmas card for sparing his blushes.
After the match, Gordon came out and told reporters why his mistake happened - and it might well explain why Karius made an almost identical gaffe in Kiev back in May.
“It doesn’t happen very often that a striker presses the keeper’s distribution from hand like that so it’s something you don’t expect," Gordon was quoted as saying by Glasgow’s Evening Times.
"I was trying to get on with things quickly as we were chasing the game at the time.
“He’s read the throw and managed to get the block but you could say it’s good striker play, whatever you want.
“It’s ended up in the net and that was the second goal and I could beat myself up about it all night but the main thing was that we got through.”
Indeed, even a mistake that bad is quickly forgotten if the team in question wins or, in Celtic’s case, advances to the next round of a tournament.
Lloris’s mistake in the World Cup final will not be replayed over and over again because France lifted the trophy at full-time.
Karius, however, will be made to remember his error for the rest of his life because Liverpool lost.