Ranked! The 10 most incredible World Cup own goals

We are part of The Trust Project What is it?

6. Ivan Vutsov (Bulgaria vs Portugal, 1966)

Alongside Spain and Mexico, Bulgaria have scored more World Cup own goals than any other nation. Incredibly, two of their three came at the same tournament stage, 1966’s Group 3, and both were pretty special in their own way.

Defender Ivan Vutsov was the first player to net at the wrong Old Trafford end when he flung himself at a relatively innocuous cross by Portuguese forward Jose Torres, resulting in the kind of spectacular diving header that Robin van Persie would be proud of.

Vutsov’s ill-timed aerial prowess set Portugal on their way to a 3-1 win and ultimately a third-place finish, and practically ended Bulgaria’s World Cup campaign by the seventh minute of their second game.  

5. Ivan Davidov (Bulgaria vs Hungary, 1966)

Whereas Bulgaria’s first own goal at 1966 was almost a thing of beauty, their second was pure comedy. Rudolf Vytlacil’s men had given hot favourites Hungary a scare in their final group game when Georgi Asparuhov put them in front after in 15 minutes. But their joy proved to be short-lived when just before half-time a tenacious Hungarian attack produced a curious ball across the six-yard box.

Ivan Davidov and Ivan Vutsov (him again) almost bumped into each other as they attempted to clear it, before the former, under little pressure, instead curled the ball past bewildered keeper Simeon Simeonov.

4. Andranik Eskandarian (Iran vs Scotland, 1978)

After a disastrous opening defeat to Peru, the Scots were expected to bounce back easily against World Cup debutants Iran. Instead, they suffered what the press deemed the most humiliating result in their history. It could have been even worse, had the Iranians not gifted them with a farcical own goal shortly before the break.

Asa Hartford’s speculative cross into the penalty area should have been handled comfortably by the Iranian defence, but the presence of Joe Jordan pressured keeper Nasser Hejazi and centre-back Andranik Eskandarian into a collision before the latter swung the ball wildly into his own net. However, Eskandarian soon made amends by masterminding Iran’s comeback, and later even secured a deal with the legendary New York Cosmos.