Liverpool Women’s centre-back Meikayla Moore went viral this past weekend after enduring a horror 35-minute spell in which she incredibly managed to score a hat-trick of first-half own goals, before mercifully being subbed off at the interval.
As individual performances go, it has to rank as one of the most unfortunate we’ve ever witnessed. That said, the three goals themselves – a ‘perfect’ hat-trick consisting of a right foot, header and left-footed goal – were far from the worst own goals you’ll see.
Down the years, there have been some truly shocking instances of players putting the goal into their own net in bizarre circumstances.
FourFourTwo recently decided to revisit the worst of these disasters, compiling a countdown of the 15 most memorable own goals of all time.
You can check out their verdict – as well as the mind-blowing gaffes behind it – below. Truth be told, we’re still not sure what the players involved were thinking in the majority of these examples.
The 15 Greatest Own Goals of All Time (as ranked by FourFourTwo)
15. Tony Popovic (Portsmouth vs Crystal Palace, 2004)
Former Australian international defender Popovic met a cross from Portsmouth’s Steve Stone with a perfect right-footed flick. The execution of the skill was spot on. It was just a shame that it sent the ball past his own goalkeeper. Palace shot-stopper Julian Speroni could only watch on as the ball dropped into the corner of the net.
14. Lauren (Manchester City vs Arsenal, 2003)
There are many moments from Arsenal’s ‘invincible’ 2003/04 title-winning campaign that Gunners fans enjoy going back to relive. This early-season error from right-back Lauren, though, certainly won’t be among them.
Pressured by City’s Trevor Sinclair while facing his own net, the Cameroon international panicked and then slipped. As he was falling to the deck, he proceeded to slice an attempted clearance into the far corner of the goal, leaving Jens Lehmann with absolutely no chance.
Lauren’s appeal that he had been fouled in the build-up attracted no sympathy from referee Graham Poll, either.
13. Lee Dixon (Arsenal vs Coventry, 1991)
A second consecutive entry from Arsenal.
David Seaman might have 75 England caps and two Premier League titles to his name, but he was helpless to do anything about this massively misjudged back-pass from Dixon.
Seaman was no stranger to being chipped in his career – most famously by Ronaldinho at the 2002 World Cup. However, being beaten in that manner has to feel considerably worse when it comes at the hands of your own teammate.
12. Djimi Traore (Burnley vs Liverpool, 2005)
After dragging the ball into his own net following a bizarre pirouette in an FA Cup tie at Burnley, Liverpool fans couldn’t help but poke at an unlucky Traore by immortalising the moment with a song in its honour.
“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…”
Well, in fairness, the video shows they weren’t wrong.
11. Assaf Mendes (Maccabi Haifa vs Dynamo Kyiv)
If there’s ever a time to concede a thoroughly ridiculous own goal, it’s definitely in a practice match with no stakes attached. That said, the way that Maccabi Haifa goalkeeper Mendes was mugged off by the wind here means it simply had to make the cut.
10. Jamie Pollock (Manchester City vs QPR, 1998)
From a match with very little meaning to one with season-defining consequences.
Scoring an own goal is bad enough for a player under any circumstances. However, when the goal in question essentially leads to your team getting relegated, facing your colleagues after the match cannot be an easy task.
In terms of pure stylishness, Jamie Pollock’s neat flick over both a teammate and opponent before effortlessly cushioning the ball into his own goal with his head will take some beating.
Goalkeeper Martyn Margetson could do nothing to avoid catastrophe and City’s relegation to the third-tier of English football was confirmed.
On the plus side, 24 years later, we reckon the club has recovered pretty well from this setback.
9. Mohammad Shatnawi (Al-Wehdat vs Al-Faisaly, 2015)
Even after watching this several times, it’s tough to figure out why Al-Faisaly goalkeeper Shatwani chooses to hook the ball over his own head into an unguarded net, rather than booting it over the dead-ball line.
8. Santiago Vergini (Southampton vs Sunderland, 2014)
This effort from Argentinian centre-back Vergini in the early stages of Sunderland’s 8-0 defeat to Southampton in October 2014 summed up the woeful nature of the Black Cats’ performance on the day.
Presumably hoping to thrash the ball to safety after breaking up a Saints attack, Vergini couldn’t have found the bottom corner of his own goal any sweeter.
7. Frank Queudrue (Lens vs Bastia, 2001)
Luck wasn’t on the side of former Middlesborough left-back Queudrue when he got his feet mixed up while representing Lens against Bastia.
Looking to hammer the ball across the field and away from danger, his huge hack looped backwards and left his goalkeeper a mere spectator as the ball nestled into the Lens net.
6. Wayne Hatswell (Forest Green vs Morecambe, 2001)
For lower-division clubs, the FA Cup represents a tremendous financial opportunity each year should they advance in the competition.
This isn’t lost on the players, who likely enter each tie with considerably more nerves than they would do in a typical match.
Only Wayne Hatswell will know whether nerves were a factor as he blasted the ball into his own goal just inches away from the line.
The reaction of the Forest Green goalkeeper immediately afterwards speaks volumes.
5. Mickael Roche (Nadi vs Tefana, 2016)
His Tefana side might have eventually won the fixture 6-1, but goalkeeper Roche’s own goal to provide Nadi with a consolation on the day is still an absolute shocker.
Thrown the ball by a teammate, the shot-stopper had taken possession on the edge of his own penalty area when an opposition attacker began to close him down.
Of all the ways Roche could have opted to deal with the situation, the one he chose was by far the worst. Playing the ball directly into his own (empty) net can’t have been his intention, but it’s tough to see what he was trying to accomplish otherwise.
4. Ethiopian goalkeeper, Anon (Fasil Kenema vs Welwalo Adigrat, 2018)
FourFourTwo were unable to find out the name of the Welwalo goalkeeper involved in this calamity – and we’ve drawn a similar blank.
In truth, had we just chucked a ball into our own net like this – under no pressure whatsoever – we’d probably prefer to remain anonymous too.
3. Adrien Gulfo (Pully Football vs FC Renes, 2017)
Not too many moments involving a player from the sixth tier of Swiss football have ever gone viral in its history, but it’s easy to understand why Adrien Gulfo’s bicycle kick own goal bucked that trend.
This effort is incredible on many levels. The heaviness of the midfielder’s first touch is in stark contrast to the superb overhead kick that follows it. Gulfo connected perfectly.
However, in an occurrence that almost defies the laws of physics, his attempted clearance somehow skewed into his own net.
2. Chris Brass (Darlington vs Bury, 2006)
There’s no getting around it. Scoring an own goal is an emotionally painful experience for those unfortunate enough to put the ball past their own keeper.
Bury’s Chris Brass, however, was dealt a dose of physical pain on top when he managed to break his nose after booting the ball into his own face against Darlington.
Having smashed up his hooter in brutal fashion, the ball then ricocheted into his own net to compound the defender’s misery.
It seriously wasn’t his day at all.
1. Festus Baise (Hong Kong FC vs Sun Hei, 2011)
Where to begin here?
On occasion, as we’ve seen above, defenders are forced into making rash decisions while under pressure that lead to own goals.
Sun Hei defender Baise was under no such duress here, though. In fact, the ball into the box from Hong Kong FC’s Jack Sealy was pretty poor and represented no danger to Sun Hei’s goal whatsoever.
However, for reasons known only to himself, Baise inexplicably chose to bust out a reverse scorpion kick to try and clear the ball – and the results were disastrous to put it mildly.
Sending the ball spiraling into the far corner, Baise extravagance saw Sun Hei turn a faltering attack into one of the most unreal own goals you will ever see.
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