Liverpool’s home record was one of the reasons Brighton had hopes of causing an upset at Anfield in the fifth round of the FA on Sunday. Liverpool’s squad was another. Either way, the game was about as romantic as being spit-roasted by Premier League footballers. The Seagulls were responsible for the type of high-level shooting themselves in the foot that could earn them a job in the Liverpool PR department. Three own goals, the pick of them being Lewis Dunk’s one man keepy-ups, contributed to the lack of a shock, as did making Stewart Downing look like Pele on speed. In tribute to the unfortunate Dunk, here’s a look at five classic own goals.
1. Chris Brass (Bury v Darlington)
Ok, it’s a clip so old it comes from a time when Soccer AM was still funny, but Brass’s attempted clearance is superb. Brass was attempting to find row Z with his casual hoof, but only succeeded in finding his nasal septum and diverting the ball beyond the rather confused looking goalkeeper. He didn’t actually break his nose as the YouTube clip claims, it just took a severe bruising, much like his ego. In the end, Bury won the match and Brass is currently assistant manager at Scunthorpe, so it was happy endings all round. Provided you have very low aspirations in life.
2. Goran Rubil (Hadjuk Split v Lokomotiva)
There’s all kinds of general ‘he couldn’t have caught it sweeter if he was trying to score’ clichés surrounding a lot of comedy own goals, but in the case of Goran Rubil’s stunning effort against Lokomotiva in the Croatian Premier League, it’s pretty much all there is too it. The ball breaks to him on the edge of the box and he trashes home a shot that looked like it was about to restart the Balkans conflict if it wasn’t for the intervention of the net. They ended up losing the game 2-1 and not long after, Rubil was shipped out to Greece, adding to the country’s problems.
In the same bracket is this effort from Hungary in a game between Debrecen and Fehervar. That’s all the information we have at Over The Line, but don’t let a lack of context diminish the hilarity.
3. Ashraf Soliman (Umm al-Fahm v Hapoel Afula)
Normally a bad first touch is the root cause of an own goal, but not in the case of this one from Ashraf Soliman in some sort of cup competition from Israel. With his first touch, he traps the ball superbly – obviously far better than he was expecting – and just when he tries to boot it out of play, he provides the kind of assertive finish that Fernando Torres can only dream of. The blurb attached to the video says the goal took the game to extra-time and that Soliman went on to score the winning goal at the right end. As our Googling skills don’t extend to Hebrew, we’re going to have to take YouTube’s word for that.
Mainly because it also featured some high quality skill in putting the ball into your own net in a cup game, here’s Djimi Traore scoring a cracking drag-back own goal which helped Burnley knock Liverpool out of the 2005 FA Cup.
4. Jamie Pollock (Man City v QPR)
This has to be a leading contender for the daddy of all own goals, partly for the brilliant technical ability on display and partly for the goal’s importance. Back in the days when people liked Man City because they had no money, they needed the right result against QPR to stay in the Championship/second division/whatever they called the one below the Premier League at the time. What they got was a YouTube sensation several years later as Pollock provided a moment of jaw-dropping WTF-ness. The goal handed the Rs a draw and City got relegated. If only someone had been there to tell him one day Arab billions would flow freely into the club and they could afford to let Carlos Tevez chill out in Argentina for much of the season, he probably wouldn’t have felt so bad.
There’s a few other own goals that provide a similar feeling of ‘what the hell are you doing?!’. Lee Dixon’s precise lob over David Seaman back when Arsenal were still boring is a beauty. Inigo Martinez stuck out a leg that was neither going to clear the ball successfully nor end well for a Spanish underage team somewhere. They were winning 6-0 at the time and Spain still look set to win every major international championship for the next 20 years, so he’s probably not too upset.
5. The Wind (TSV Grunbach v TSV Wimsheim)
We have no idea who scored this own goal. OTL is guessing it happened in Germany and judging by the lack of information available, it’s about the 14th tier of the league pyramid, a level above the division you enter if you’re kicking a ball around a park with your mates. It’s a lesson in playing the conditions as a straightforward goal kick ends up in the back of the net courtesy of a strong breeze and some crap goalkeeping.
In another example of German goalkeeping ineptitude accentuating the problems caused by a defensive blip – albeit one that happened at a substantially higher level – here’s Klaus Augenthaler gifting Red Star Belgrade passage to the final of 1991 European Cup. After losing the first leg 2-1 at home, Bayern Munich managed to reverse that scoreline in Yugoslavia and the game seemed destined for extra time only for Augenthaler and the far more culpable Raimond Aumann in goal to combine to send the hosts through. If it’s any consolation – and it’s probably not – this wasn’t even the most heartbreaking final few seconds in Bayern’s European Cup history, as they found out in Barcelona about nine years later.
It’s virtually illegal to do a feature on comedy own goals without making mention of serial offender, Frank Sinclair. Here is just a small selection his has thrilled us with over the years.
There’s countless more, so stick your nominations in the comments section below.