Ranked! The 10 most incredible World Cup own goals
Own goals were once something of a rarity at the World Cup. Just 41 were scored in the history of the tournament, before this summer took the total up to 52. However undoubtedly the most spectacular have come in the previous 88 years. From diving headers to acrobatic volleys, here’s a jaw-dropping countdown.
10. Daniel Agger (Denmark vs Netherlands, 2010)
Simon Poulsen produced one of the most remarkable defensive clearances of 2010 when he hooked Ibrahim Afellay’s toe-poke off the line with an under the crossbar overhead kick. Unfortunately for the Dane, he was also responsible for the tournament’s freakiest own goal in the same game.
The left-back, who was plying his trade with AZ Alkmaar at the time, had tried to head clear a Dutch cross, only to knock it onto the back of unsuspecting team-mate Daniel Agger and into the net. Despite not knowing anything about it, the unlucky Agger was later credited with the own goal by a harsh FIFA panel.
9. Noel Valladares (Honduras vs France, 2014)
Famous for sending an increasingly baffled Jonathan Pearce into near-meltdown, Noel Valladares’ entirely avoidable own goal caused FIFA to rethink how their goalline technology worked. The BBC’s most excitable commentator, and the Honduras players themselves, initially believed that a disputed French third had been disallowed when the system’s big screen flashed ‘no goal’.
But the message was referring to the first incident in which Karim Benzema’s strike bounced off the post. A second message then revealed that the Honduras keeper had palmed the resulting deflection into his own net by at least an inch, and France rightfully went 3-0 ahead.
8. Colin Curran (Australia vs East Germany, 1974)
One of the few members of Australia’s 1974 squad to have been born in the country, Colin Curran also holds the distinction of scoring his homeland’s first ever World Cup goal. Unfortunately it just happened to be at the wrong end. The defender looked destined to become a national hero when he raced to clear East German Jurgen Sparwasser’s deft strike off the line.
But instead, the ex-Manchester United youth player became the villain when he embarrassingly blasted the ball into the net. But Curran later atoned for his error, guiding Australia to their first World Cup point with a powerhouse display in a goalless draw against Chile.
7. Ernst Lortscher (Switzerland vs Germany, 1938)
(Own goal at 0:20)
Ernst Lortscher wasn’t the first player to score an own goal at the World Cup – that dubious honour went to Mexico’s Manuel Rosas against Chile eight years earlier. But unfortunately for the Switzerland international, he was the first to have his filmed for posterity.
The hapless midfielder virtually side-footed the ball into his own net while attempting to clear a well-struck German effort which had just hit the post. Thankfully for Lortscher, the blunder appeared to spur his side into action and the Swiss bounced back from 2-0 down to win the first-round replay 4-2.