Well it makes a change from going out on penalties I suppose. But Laura Bassett’s injury time own goal – which saw Japan take the lead and secure a semi final place in the Women’s World Cup final – was certainly a scorcher. Just a shame it was at the wrong end.
But if it’s any comfort Laura (and let’s face it, it probably won’t be) there have been even worse howlers in the men’s game. Here’s our pick of the best…or the worst, depending on how you look at it. And here’s last night’s own goal – if you can bring yourself to watch it.
1. Peter Enckelman, Aston Villa v Birmingham City.
This is one that Villa fans will want to forget especially as it was against their arch rivals Birmingham City. Villa’s defender Olof Mellberg throws the ball back to his keeper and, much to his horror, watches the Finnish international horribly mis-kick the ball before watching it role into his own net. The referee ruled that Enckelman had touched the ball meaning that it was in fact in play and therefore a goal (if he hadn’t touched it at all the goal wouldn’t have stood).
2. Lee Dixon, Arsenal v Coventry City
It’s difficult to imagine what was going through Lee Dixon’s head at the time, but this supposed back pass certainly managed to catch ace goalkeeper David Seaman out – as his narration in this video clip confirms. Usually a solid defender, Dixon somehow puts the ball well over Seaman’s head, despite being under absolutely no pressure at all. It was also one of the quickest own goals of all time. As Seaman says ‘Nice one Dicko’.
3. Djimi Traoré, Liverpool v Burnley
In a finish worthy of Ronaldo or Messi, Djimi Traoré managed to put the ball in the back of his own net – in quite some style. “Don’t blame it on Hamann, don’t blame it on Biscan, don’t blame it on Finnan – blame it on Traoré,” went the terrace ditty after the bandy-legged defender and European Cup winner pulled this off in the 3rd round of the FA Cup match against Burnley. At least he made up for a few years later with an absolute 30 yard wonder goal (this time in the right net) for MLS side Seattle Sounders in a Champions League match against Tigres (you can also see this on the same clip).
4. Jamie Pollock, Manchester City v Queen’s Park Rangers
For a minute you think Jamie Pollock is showing great attacking skill, with a lovely flick and powerful header past the goalkeeper. Only problem is its into his own goal. The Manchester City left back handed Queens Park Rangers an unlikely lead and ultimately condemned his own side to relegation and ensured survival for QPR. I’m guessing he wasn’t too popular in the dressing room that day.
5. Frank Sinclair, Leicester City v Middlesbrough
Under absolutely no pressure whatsoever, Leicester’s defender Franks Sinclair somehow hit the target from 40 yards – into the back of his own net and past a frankly startled Ian Walker. The goal came just four minutes into what was otherwise an unremarkable Premiership encounter in 2002. Even the camera-man was stunned only just catching the ball leaving Frank’s boot and going into the net.