Own goal

An own goal is an event in competitive goal-scoring sports (such as association football or hockey) where a player scores on his or her own side of the playing area rather than the one defended by the opponent. Own goals sometimes result from the opponent's defensive strength, as when the player is stopped in the scoring area, but can also happen by accident. Since own goals are often added to the opponent's score, they are often an embarrassing blunder for the scoring player, but in certain sports are occasionally done for strategic reasons.

In some parts of the world, the term has become a metaphor for any action that backfires on the person/group undertaking it, sometimes even carrying a sense of "poetic justice".[1] During The Troubles, for instance, it acquired a specific metaphorical meaning: referring to an IED (improvised explosive device) that detonated prematurely, killing the very person making or handling the bomb with the intent to harm only others. In February 1996, the death of Edward O'Brien in such an incident was followed by an article in The Independent entitled "Terrorists killed by their own devices".[2]

A player trying to throw a game might deliberately attempt an own goal.[3] Such players run the risk of being sanctioned or banned from further play.

Association football

In association football, an own goal occurs when a player causes the ball to go into his or her own team's goal, resulting in a goal being scored for the opposition. Defenders often "turn behind" dangerous balls into the penalty area, particularly crosses, by kicking or heading the ball out of play behind their goal-line. In this way, the defender's aim is to concede a corner rather than giving attacking players scoring opportunities. Consequently, the defender may misjudge and inadvertently turn the ball into his or her own goal, particularly if he or she is under pressure from attacking players who might otherwise score. The defending player who scored the own goal is personally "credited" with the goal as part of the statistical abstract of the game. The credit is annotated "(og)" to indicate its nature.

The Laws of the Game stipulate that an own goal cannot be scored directly from most methods of restarting the game; instead, a corner kick is awarded to the attacking team. This is the case for the kick-off,[4] goal kick,[nb 1][nb 2] dropped-ball (since 2012)[6], throw-in,[7] corner kick,[nb 2][11] and free kick (indirect and direct).[12]

The Laws do not stipulate any rules or procedures for crediting goals to players, and indeed such records are not a compulsory part of the game.[13] In 1997 FIFA issued detailed guidelines for crediting own goals, recognising the increasing commercial importance of statistics such as top scorer awards and fantasy football.[13] The guidelines state that credit for scoring is decided by the referee, or match commissioner if present; and "[a] defender's intervention must be deliberate in order for an own goal to be registered against him".[13] Regarding a shot which deflects or ricochets into the goal off a defender, some sources credit the score to the attacker; others count them as own goals; for others it depends on whether the original shot was off target; others are more nuanced.[13] There was controversy in 2013 when the FA Premier League credited Tim Howard with an own goal when a shot came off the post, hit him in the back, and went in.[14]

Major competitions may have video reviews which can alter the accreditation, such as the Dubious Goals Committee of the FA Premier League. In the 2002 FIFA World Cup, one of Ronaldo's eight goals in winning the Golden Boot was initially credited as an own goal but reassigned on appeal by Brazil.[15] UEFA's review procedure was formalised in 2008.[16] As of 2006, the English Football League allowed the club which scored to nominate the scorer, which The Guardian criticised with an example from 2002: "every single national newspaper, agency and football factbook agreed that Coventry City defender Calum Davenport had scored an own goal against Burnley. The Clarets, however, gave the goal to Gareth Taylor".[17]

The most infamous own goal was by Andrés Escobar of Colombia in the 1994 FIFA World Cup which lost the match against the United States and knocked Colombia out; a week later, Escobar was shot dead in Colombia by a drug gang member whose boss had lost betting on the match.[18]

Possibly the fastest own goal from kick-off was achieved by Leon Goretzka of Bayern Munich after 13 seconds of a Bundesliga match. It was the first touch by any Bayern player in that game.[19]

Ice hockey

If a goal is scored by a player on the defending team, credit for the goal goes to the last player on the other team to have touched the puck; this is because own goals in hockey are typically cases where the player so credited had the shot deflected, but this convention is used even where this is not the case. Occasionally, it is also credited to the closest player to the goal from the other team if he is determined to have caused the opposing player to shoot it into the wrong net. Assists are not awarded on an own goal because the defending team has possession of the puck between any pass and the goal itself. Occasionally in the NHL, players have directed the puck into their own empty net, either late in the game or because of a delayed penalty call. This was the situation which resulted in Billy Smith of the New York Islanders becoming the first goaltender to receive credit for a goal in the NHL. In some parts of Canada, an own goal is referred to as a limoges. The term is believed to have originated in New Brunswick (approximately 1970) and became more common in the greater Toronto region starting in the 1990s.[20]

Field hockey

Treatment of "own goals" in field hockey has varied over recent years. In 2013 the International Hockey Federation (FIH) implemented a "mandatory experiment" such that a deflection of a shot from outside the shooting circle from a defender would be equivalent to a touch from an attacker, and thus if the shot continued into the goal the score would be counted. This proved unpopular and the change was reversed.[21]

Presently rule 8.1 states that "A goal is scored when the ball is played within the circle by an attacker and does not travel outside the circle before passing completely over the goal-line and under the crossbar." Added clarification: "The ball may be played by a defender or touch their body before or after being played in the circle by an attacker."[22] Thus, an "own goal" may occur, but in such situations the goal will likely be credited to the attacker whose initial play into the circle was necessary for the goal to stand.


When accidentally scoring at an opposing team's basket (basketball's equivalent of an "own goal"), the goal is credited to an offensive player. One typical own-goal scenario occurs when a player tries to block a goal shot but ends up knocking the ball into the goal.

In NFHS basketball, the two points are merely listed for the scoring team, as a footnote.

In NCAA basketball, the rules state: "When a player scores a field goal in the opponent’s basket, it shall count two points for the opponent regardless of the location on the playing court from where it was released. Such a field goal shall not be credited to a player in the scorebook but shall be indicated with a footnote."

In NBA rules, the goal is credited to the player on the scoring team who is closest to defensive shooter and is mentioned in a footnote.

Under FIBA rules, the player designated captain is credited with the basket.

American football

When a ball carrier is tackled or exits the field of play within the end zone being defended by his team, the result is a safety and the opposing team is awarded two points, and receives the ball after a free kick taken at the twenty-yard line. (This does not apply if the ball carrier secures possession of the ball in the end zone as a result of an interception or a kick; in that case, no points are awarded and the play is considered a touchback.) In Canadian football, if a scrimmage kick (punt or missed field goal attempt) is kicked into the end zone and the opponent does not advance it out, the kicking team is awarded a single, worth one point.

A true "own goal", in which the team place kicks or drop kicks the ball through their own goal posts (which has never happened at any level in football history and would require either a very strong headwind or a deliberate act of sabotage), is treated as any other backward kick in most leagues' rule books. Backward kicks are treated as fumbles, and as such, a backward kick through the back of the end zone, including through the goal posts, is scored as a safety. This occurred in a 2012 game between two Texas high schools; a punter kicked against a strong wind that blew the ball backward into the end zone, where the defense took control of it.[23]

In the final minutes of a game, a team may take a deliberate safety in order to get the free kick, rather than punting from the end zone. In 2003, the New England Patriots came back to win a game after giving a safety that put them three points behind.[24] Similarly, the Baltimore Ravens took a safety with twelve seconds left in Super Bowl XLVII instead of punting out of the end zone, cutting their lead to three points but winning the game since they were able to burn eight seconds off the clock with the safety play, and the opposing San Francisco 49ers were unable to score on the ensuing free kick.

Canadian football

In the 2017 Grey Cup, the Calgary Stampeders deliberately took a safety when their punter Rob Maver, having lost control of a high snap, was faced with loss of down deep in his own territory. He intentionally kicked the ball backwards through the back of his own end zone for a safety.[25]

Gaelic football

Gaelic footballers can play the ball with their hands; therefore, they have a much greater degree of control over the ball and thus, own goals are much rarer than they are in association football. They do occur, and two were scored by Mayo in the drawn 2016 All-Ireland SFC Final.[26]

As an own goal is scored when the ball goes under the crossbar, so an "own point" is scored (like any other point) when the ball goes over the crossbar. However, when a shot on goal is deflected over the bar by the defending team, the point is credited to the attacker who shot and not considered an "own point".

Australian rules football

As a legitimate defensive play, an Australian rules football defender may concede an "own score". Such a score, referred to as a rushed behind and statistically credited to no player (score sheets simply include the tally of rushed behinds), results in the opposition team scoring one point. A defending player may choose to concede a rushed behind when the risk of the opposition scoring a goal (worth six points) is high. It is impossible for a team to concede an own goal worth six points.


  1. ^ A corner is awarded provided the ball left the penalty area before entering the goal; otherwise the goal kick is retaken.[5]
  2. ^ a b This was explicitly added to the Laws of the Game in 2016,[8][9] having previously been an official IFAB interpretation.[10]


  1. ^ "thefreedictionary.com". thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  2. ^ "Terrorists killed by their own devices". The Independent. London. 1996-02-20.
  3. ^ "Teams kicked out of league after farcical 'own-goal' match". 2014-10-28.
  4. ^ LOTG 8.1
  5. ^ LOTG 16
  6. ^ LOTG 8.2; FIFA Circular 1302 p.3
  7. ^ LOTG 15
  8. ^ Thomas, Andi (14 Apr 2016). "The rules of soccer are changing! You can't score an own goal from a corner anymore". SBNation. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  9. ^ IFAB (April 2016). "Revision of The Laws of the Game: Summary of the Law changes for 2016/17 effective from 1 June 2016" (PDF). pp. 53, 55. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 April 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  10. ^ "2016–2017 Law Changes for USSF Referees" (PDF). HVSRA. June 2016. pp. 42, 42. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  11. ^ LOTG 17
  12. ^ LOTG 13.1
  13. ^ a b c d Cooper, Keith (17 April 1997). illustrated by Olé Andersen. "When Own Goals Don't Really Count". FIFA Magazine. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  14. ^ Abnos, Alexander (5 October 2013). "Did Tim Howard deserve an own goal against Manchester City?". SI.com.
  15. ^ Homewood, Brian (14 February 2011). Palmer, Justin (ed.). "Eye for goal made Ronaldo a striker to be feared". Reuters. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  16. ^ Reuters (27 March 2008). "UEFA to clarify rules on deflected own goals". ESPN.
  17. ^ Ingle, Sean; Glendenning, Barry; Dart, James (23 August 2006). "The Knowledge: Is there really a Dubious Goals Committee?". TheGuardian.com. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Question 21754: Law 10 - Method of Scoring". 7 August 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  19. ^ Connaughton, Gary (15 February 2019). "Bayern Munich score OG 13 SECONDS into Bundesliga game". Archived from the original on 16 February 2019. This has to be one of the fastest own goals of all time. A similar effort is certainly not springing to mind.
  20. ^ "Where did the term 'limoges' originate from in the context of hockey?". ca.answers.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  21. ^ Bone, Ross (27 November 2013). "Talking Hockey: own goal rule wiped out creativity, though umpires likely to disagree". Telegraph. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  22. ^ "Rules of Hockey" (PDF). FIH. 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  23. ^ Smith, Cameron (16 Oct. 2012) "Texas wind knocks punt back for incredibly unlikely safety"
  24. ^ "Belichick's gamble pays off for Patriots - NFL - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2003-11-04. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  25. ^ Baines, Tim (26 November 2017). "Argonauts slay mighty Stampeders in epic, snowy Grey Cup". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  26. ^ "Recap: How the All-Ireland football final unfolded". RTÉ.ie. 18 September 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
1877 Scottish Cup Final

The 1877 Scottish Cup Final was the fourth final of the Scottish Cup and the final of the 1876–77 Scottish Cup, the most prestigious knockout football competition in Scotland. The original match took place at Hamilton Crescent on 17 March 1877 and was contested by Vale of Leven and Rangers. The match was the first final to require two replays to decide a winner.The original match ended in a 1–1 draw. Robert Paton opened the scoring for Vale of Leven, but Rangers equalised courtesy of an own goal from John McDougall. In the replay three weeks later, McDougall evened the scores for Vale of Leven after William Dunlop had opened the scoring for Rangers to force a second replay. In what turned out to be the decider, an early own goal from Jimmy Watson and two late goals from John Campbell Baird and Paton were enough to seal a narrow 3–2 victory for Vale of Leven to win the tournament for the first time.

1935 Coupe de France Final

The 1935 Coupe de France Final was a football match held at Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes on May 5, 1935, that saw Olympique de Marseille defeat Stade Rennais UC 3–0 thanks to goals by Charles Roviglione, Vilmos Kohut and an own goal by Jean Laurent.

1935–36 French Division 1

RC Paris won Division 1 season 1935/1936 of the French Association Football League with 44 points.

1946 FA Cup Final

The 1946 FA Cup Final was the 65th final of the FA Cup, and the first after World War II. It took place on 27 April 1946 at Wembley Stadium and was contested between Derby County and Charlton Athletic.

Derby won the match 4–1 after extra time. Charlton's Bert Turner scored an own goal and then scored for his own team, thus becoming the first player to score for both sides in an FA Cup Final. Goals from Peter Doherty and Jackie Stamps (2) in the extra-time period gave Derby their first, and so far only, FA Cup triumph.

1947 Coupe de France Final

The 1947 Coupe de France Final was a football match held at Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes on May 11, 1947, that saw Lille OSC defeat RC Strasbourg 2–0 thanks to a goal by Roger Vandooren and an own goal of Joseph Lang.

1955 FA Charity Shield

The 1955 FA Charity Shield was the 33rd FA Charity Shield, the annual football match played between the winners of the previous season's Football League and FA Cup competitions. It was contested between Chelsea, the reigning First Division champions, and Newcastle United, holders of the FA Cup. Chelsea won 3–0, thanks to second-half goals from Roy Bentley and Frank Blunstone, and an own goal from Alf McMichael.

1955 Scottish League Cup Final

The 1955 Scottish League Cup Final was played on 22 October 1955, at Hampden Park in Glasgow and was the final of the 10th Scottish League Cup competition. The final was contested by Aberdeen and St Mirren. Aberdeen won the match 2–1, thanks to a goal by Graham Leggat and an own goal by Jim Mallan. The winning goal, scored 11 minutes from the end, was a "wind-assisted cross". Aberdeen manager Davie Shaw later admitted that they had been "damn lucky" to win the Cup. The match proved to be St Mirren's last appearance in a Scottish League Cup Final until 2010.

1969 Coupe de France Final

The 1969 Coupe de France Final was a football match held at Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes on May 18, 1969, that saw Olympique de Marseille defeat FC Girondins de Bordeaux 2–0 thanks to an own goal by Gérard Papin and a goal by Joseph Yegba Maya.

1979 Norwegian Football Cup

Viking won the Norwegian Cup after beating Haugar 2–1 on 21 October 1979. The goal scorers for Viking were Bjarne Berntsen who scored a penalty in the 55th minute and Jens Egil Vikanes (own goal) who scored in the 62nd minute. For Haugar, Dean Mooney scored in the 25th minute. This was the first time two teams from Rogaland met in a national final. Viking's official report stated that Haugar were the best team for large parts of the match. However, once Svein Kvia send a probing ball to give Jens Vikanes a goal, the game was secured for Viking.

25,000 spectators watched the game at Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo. The referee was Ivar Fredriksen. This was the third time Viking won a Norwegian Cup. This was the first final between two teams from Rogaland.

Viking's winning team: Erik Johannessen, Bjarne Berntsen, Tor Reidar Brekke, Per Henriksen,

Tonning Hammer, Inge Valen, Svein Fjælberg, Svein Kvia, Finn Einar Krogh,

Trygve Johannessen, Isak Arne Refvik, Trond Ekholdt, Torbjørn Svendsen and Magnus Flatestøl.

Haugar's team: Steven Hopson, Rune Larsen, Leif Birkeland, Jens Vikanes, Terje Solberg, Dennis Burnett,

Harald Undahl, Eivind Hovland, Tor Nilsen, Dean Mooney, and Dag P. Christophersen

1981 FA Cup Final

The 1981 FA Cup Final was the 100th final of the FA Cup, and was contested by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City.

The original match took place on Saturday 9 May 1981 at Wembley, and finished 1–1 after extra-time. Tommy Hutchison opened the scoring for City in the 30th minute, but scored an own-goal in the 79th minute to bring Spurs level.

The replay took place five days later on Thursday 14 May 1981, and was the first replay since 1970 and the first to be staged at Wembley. Ricky Villa opened the scoring for Spurs in the eighth minute, before Steve MacKenzie equalised for City three minutes later. A Kevin Reeves penalty five minutes into the second half put the Manchester side ahead, before Garth Crooks brought Spurs level again in the 70th minute. Then, in the 76th minute, Tony Galvin passed to Villa 30 yards from City's goal, and the Argentinian proceeded to skip past four defenders before slotting the ball past City goalkeeper Joe Corrigan. This goal was voted Wembley Goal of the Century in 2001, and it won Tottenham the match, 3–2, and the FA Cup for the sixth time.

1984 FA Charity Shield

The 1984 FA Charity Shield (also known as the FA Charity Shield sponsored by General Motors for sponsorship reasons) was the 62nd Charity Shield, a football match contested by the holders of the Football League First Division and FA Cup. This edition featured a Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton at Wembley Stadium. Liverpool won the League and Everton won the FA Cup. The match was held on 18 August 1984 and was won 1–0 by Everton after an own goal from Bruce Grobbelaar. Graeme Sharp was straight in on goal and tried to round Grobbelaar, but the ball was blocked on the line by Alan Hansen and ricocheted straight at the shins of Grobbelaar and back into the net.

1992 Scottish League Cup Final

The 1992 Scottish League Cup Final was played on 25 October 1992 at Hampden Park in Glasgow and was the final of the 47th Scottish League Cup competition. The final was contested by Aberdeen and Rangers. Rangers won the match 2–1 thanks to goals from Stuart McCall and a Gary Smith own goal. The teams would play again in the 1993 Scottish Cup Final at the end of the season, with the same scoreline.

2007 Copa América Final

The 2007 Copa América Final was the final match of the 2007 Copa América. It was held on 15 July 2007 in Maracaibo, Venezuela, between Brazil and Argentina. Brazil won 3–0, with goals from Júlio Baptista, a Roberto Ayala own goal and Dani Alves. Brazil won their eighth title, while Argentina could have won their fifteenth.

Andrés Escobar

Andrés Escobar Saldarriaga (Spanish pronunciation: [anˈðɾes eskoˈβaɾ salðari'aga]; 13 March 1967 – 2 July 1994) was a Colombian footballer who played as a defender. He played for Atlético Nacional, BSC Young Boys, and the Colombia national team. Nicknamed The Gentleman, he was known for his clean style of play and calmness on the pitch.Escobar was murdered in the aftermath of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, reportedly as retaliation for having scored an own goal which contributed to the team's elimination from the tournament. His murder tarnished the image of the country internationally. Escobar himself had worked to promote a more positive image of Colombia, earning acclaim in the country. In 2013, then-coach Francisco Maturana denied that Escobar's murder had any connection to football or the World Cup, but rather was due to his being "in the wrong place at the wrong time" at a violent time in Colombia's history.Escobar is still held in high regard by Colombian fans, and is especially mourned and remembered by Atlético Nacional's fans.


Bonken is a trick-taking card game for 4 players that is played with a deck of cards. Everyone plays for themselves. In total 11 rounds are played, in which every round has its own goal. The goal of the game is to score as many points as possible. The player who scores the most points is declared the winner.

Corner kick

A corner kick is the method of restarting play in a game of association football when the ball goes out of play over the goal line, without a goal being scored, and having last been touched by a member of the defending team. The kick is taken from the corner of the field of play nearest to where it went out. Corners are considered to be a reasonable goal scoring opportunity for the attacking side, though not as much as a penalty kick or a direct free kick near the edge of the penalty area.

A corner kick is also awarded instead of an own goal if a team places the ball directly into its own goal from certain restarts (e.g., throw-in, free kick, etc.), though this is rare.

Goal (ice hockey)

In ice hockey, a goal is scored when the puck entirely crosses the goal line between the two goal posts and below the goal crossbar. A goal awards one point to the team attacking the goal scored upon, regardless of which team the player who actually deflected the puck into the goal belongs to (see also own goal). Typically, a player on the team attempting to score shoots the puck with their stick towards the goal net opening, and a player on the opposing team called a goaltender tries to block the shot to prevent a goal from being scored against their team.

The term goal may also refer to the structure in which goals are scored. The ice hockey goal is rectangular in shape; the front frame of the goal is made of steel tube painted red (blue in the ECHL because of a sponsorship deal with the Government Employees Insurance Company) and consists of two vertical goalposts and a horizontal crossbar. A net is attached to the back of the frame to catch pucks that enter the goal and also to prevent pucks from entering it from behind. The entire goal is considered an inbounds area of the playing surface, and it is legal to play the puck behind the goal. Under NHL rules, the opening of the goal is 72 inches (180 cm) wide by 48 inches (120 cm) tall, and the footprint of the goal is 40 inches (100 cm) deep.

List of FIFA World Cup own goals

Out of over 2500 goals scored in matches at the 21 final tournaments of the FIFA World Cup, only 53 have been own goals. In 1997, FIFA published guidelines for classifying an own goal as "when a player plays the ball directly into his own net or when he redirects an opponent’s shot, cross or pass into his own goal", and excludes "shots that are on target (i.e. goal-bound) and touch a defender or rebound from the goal frame and bounce off a defender or goalkeeper".No player holds the dubious distinction of having scored multiple own goals. Mexico has had their players score own goals on four different occasions each, while France has benefited on six occasions from opponents scoring own goals. Of the 52 matches with an own goal, the team scoring the own goal won seven times and drew eight times. All but 12 own goals have been scored in the first stages of the tournament.

List of UEFA European Championship own goals

This is a list of all own goals scored during UEFA European Championship matches, which does not include qualifying matches.

As UEFA is the governing body of football, only UEFA-recognised own goals are noted. Only 9 own goals have been scored in the 15 editions of the European Championship.


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