Own goals can be pretty funny for some spectators, frustrating for others and humiliating for the guilty party. But how common are they?
Four years ago, at the most recent FIFA World Cup in Russia, there were five own goals scored in the opening 20 group stage games. That made for 11% of all the total number of goals scored up until that point.
While own goals do affect the outcomes of football matches, they do not count towards a first goal scorer bet which will simply move on to the next goal (always bet on no goalscorer not 0-0 for this reason). They do, however, count towards correct score, both teams to score, over/under and other markets.
Nevertheless, because of the impact own goals have on matches many bettors like to know the stats around such on field occurrences and with World Cup 2022 coming into view we thought we see how common own goals were in the biggest event in football.
World Cup of Own Goals
There have been 21 renewals of the FIFA World Cup with 900 matches and more than 2,500 goals scored in that time.
Of those goals scored, only 53 have been own goals.
In 1997, FIFA published new 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”.
There is no case of one single player scoring more than one World Cup own goal, although there are teams that have scored more one own goal.
Mexico, who also scored the first ever World Cup own goal in its inaugural hosting, hold the record of scoring the most World Cup own goals, having netted home between their own sticks on four separate occasions.
The biggest beneficiaries from others’ misfortune are France who have lucked out from opponents scoring own goals in six different World Cup matches.
Out of the 53 matches where an own goal was scored, only seven have ended as wins for the team that scored them.
Eight other games have ended as draws meaning that on 38 occasions the team that scored the own goal went on to lose and because only 12 of these have been scored in the first stages of the tournament, these errors have proved extremely costly in the past.
In fact, football has even seen tragedy previously when, after scoring an own goal for Colombia against the USA in the American World Cup of 1994, Andres Escobar was fatally shot on a night out in Medellin, which was said to be as retaliation for Colombia’s elimination from that year’s competition.
Record Was Set In 2018
YearOwn GoalsMatchesOwn Goals / Game% Matches With Own Goals19301180.065.6%193401700%19382180.1111.1%19501220.054.5%19544260.1515.4%195803500%196203200%19662320.066.3%19701320.033.1%19743380.087.9%19783380.087.9%19821520.021.9%19862520.043.8%199005200%19941520.021.9%19986640.099.3%20023640.054.7%20064640.066.3%20102640.033.1%20145640.087.8%201812640.1918.6%Total / Average539000.065.9%
The World Cup own goal record was set at Russia 2018 when 12 unfortunate souls slotted home at the wrong end. In fact, after 17 games OG was the leading goal scorer in the tournament. Of course, FIFA’s new criteria might have had something to do with the increase.
In Russia, own goals were particularly impactful as every one of them was scored by the team that would go on to lose. As an example, Aziz Behich was eventually deemed to have hit one into his own net when Paul Pogba, who was originally awarded the goal, deflected off the ball Australian defender in what was eventually a 2-1 win for Les Bleus.
Deflections are unfortunate as players struggle to avoid what would otherwise be an errant shot. That was certainly the case when the ball deflected wickedly off of Nigerian Oghenekaro Etebo’s leg to give Croatia a 1-0 lead four years ago.
In Italy 90 there were no own goals scored at all, a first since 1962.
Own Goals Scored At The FIFA World Cup Tournaments
YearHostsOwn Goal ScorerNationalityOpponentRoundWin Or Lose1930UruguayManuel RosasMexicoChileGroup StageLose1938FranceErnst LörtscherSwitzerlandGermanyFirst RoundWin1938FranceSven JacobssonSwedenHungarySemi FinalLose1950BrazilJosé ParraSpainBrazilFinal RoundLose1954SwitzerlandJimmy DickinsonEnglandBelgiumGroup StageLose1954SwitzerlandRaúl CárdenasMexicoFranceGroup StageLose1954SwitzerlandIvica HorvatYugoslaviaWest GermanyQuarter FinalLose1954SwitzerlandLuis CruzUruguayAustria3rd Place Play OffLose1966EnglandIvan VutsovBulgariaPortugalGroup StageLose1966EnglandIvan DavidovBulgariaHungaryGroup StageLose1970MexicoJavier GuzmánMexicoItalyQuarter FinalLose1974West GermanyColin CurranAustraliaEast GermanyGroup StageLose1974West GermanyRoberto PerfumoArgentinaItalyGroup StageDraw1974West GermanyRuud KrolNetherlandsBulgariaGroup StageWin1978ArgentinaAndranik EskandarianIranScotlandGroup StageDraw1978ArgentinaErnie BrandtsNetherlandsItalySecond RoundWin1978ArgentinaBerti VogtsWest GermanyAustriaSecond RoundLose1982SpainJozef BarmošCzechoslovakiaEnglandGroup StageLose1986MexicoLászló DajkaHungarySoviet UnionGroup StageLose1986MexicoCho Kwang-raeSouth KoreaItalyGroup StageLose1994United StatesAndrés EscobarColombiaUnited StatesGroup StageLose1998FranceTom BoydScotlandBrazilGroup StageLose1998FranceYoussef ChippoMoroccoNorwayGroup StageDraw1998FrancePierre IssaSouth AfricaFranceGroup StageLose1998FranceAndoni ZubizarretaSpainNigeriaGroup StageLose1998FranceSiniša MihajlovićYugoslaviaGermanyGroup StageDraw1998FranceGeorgi BachevBulgariaSpainGroup StageLose2002South Korea and JapanJeff AgoosUnited StatesPortugalGroup StageWin2002South Korea and JapanCarles PuyolSpainParaguayGroup StageWin2002South Korea and JapanJorge CostaPortugalUnited StatesGroup Stagewin2006GermanyCarlos GamarraParaguayEnglandGroup StageLose2006GermanyCristian ZaccardoItalyUnited StatesGroup StageDraw2006GermanyBrent SanchoTrinidad and TobagoParaguayGroup StageLose2006GermanyPetitPortugalGermany3rd Place Play OffLose2010South AfricaDaniel AggerDenmarkNetherlandsGroup StageLose2010South AfricaPark Chu-youngSouth KoreaArgentinaGroup StageWin2014BrazilMarceloBrazilCroatiaGroup StageWin2014BrazilNoel ValladaresHondurasFranceGroup StageLose2014BrazilSead KolašinacBosnia and HerzegovinaArgentinaGroup StageLose2014BrazilJohn BoyeGhanaPortugalGroup StageLose2014BrazilJoseph YoboNigeriaFranceRound of 16Lose2018RussiaAziz BouhaddouzMoroccoIranGroup StageLose2018RussiaAziz BehichAustraliaFranceGroup StageLose2018RussiaOghenekaro EteboNigeriaCroatiaGroup StageLose2018RussiaThiago CionekPolandSenegalGroup Stagelose2018RussiaAhmed FathiEgyptRussiaGroup StageLose2018RussiaDenis CheryshevRussiaUruguayGroup StageLose2018RussiaEdson ÁlvarezMexicoSwedenGroup StageLose2018RussiaYann SommerSwitzerlandCosta RicaGroup StageDraw2018RussiaYassine MeriahTunisiaPanamaGroup StageWin2018RussiaSergei IgnashevichRussiaSpainRound Of 16Win2018RussiaFernandinhoBrazilBelgiumQuarter FinalLose2018RussiaMario MandžukićCroatiaFranceFinalLose