Euro 2020 is being gripped by an OG frenzy!
This is the 16th European Championships. It’s a competition that dates back to 1960, but throughout the previous 15 tournaments, there were only nine own goals at the Euros. That number has now jumped to seventeen, with eight own goals being added in the Euro 2020 group stage alone, it seems that the number of own goals will probably only increase this tournament.
Start as you mean to go on
Euro 2020 got underway with Italy facing Turkey in the opening match in Group A. After a goalless first half, the deadlock was broken in the 53rd minute with Merih Demiral’s own goal. Looking back, it seems rather fitting that the opening goal of the tournament was an own goal.
Szczesny bags a brace of records
Polish stopper claimed his place in the European Championships own goal record books in their first group match against Slovakia. After cutting inside, Slovakia’s Robert Mak lashed a shot which rebounded off the post before hitting Szczesny and going into the net in the 18th minute. This was the first-ever own goal by a goalkeeper at the Euros, and currently, it’s the fastest ever own goal in a match, too.
Mat Hummels is fastest
At 32 years of age, it’s fair to say that Germany’s Mat Hummels wasn’t the holder of many ‘fastest’ records, but that’s changed now. Hummels’ side faced France in their highly-anticipated opening group game. The match was decided by Mat Hummel’s 20th-minute own goal, which is the fastest OG by an outfield player in the history of the Euros.
Before Euro 2020, not one match had witnessed more than a single own goal – now we have two. Starting the OG feast was Portugal’s encounter with Germany; however, the action was at the opposite end to Hummels this time. Portugal had stormed into a 15th lead thanks to Ronaldo’s goal, but disaster struck with two own goals in the space of four minutes. The first was credited to Ruban Dias (35th minute) and Raphael Guerreiro (39th minute) got the next. These goals helped Germany win 4 – 2, and set the path for a Round of 16 match with England at Wembley.
Slovakia also recorded a brace of own goals in a single match. Facing Spain in their final group game, Martin Dubravka suffered a goalkeeping malfunction as he appeared to slap the ball into his own net after a Spanish shot came off the crossbar. That made the score 1 – 0 and Spain went on to score another three goals before a second Slovakian own goal – this time courtesy of Jaraj Kucka made a final score of 5 – 0.
More to come?
It’s impossible to say for certain if we are going to see more own goals at Euro 2020, but we wouldn’t bet against it. In previous tournaments, there have been four OGs in the knockout stages. Northern Ireland’s Gareth Mc Auley bagged one against Wales in 2016. Unfortunately, this was the only goal of the game – making it slightly more painful for the player.
The other three have all come against the Netherlands: Jorge Andrade (Portugal) in 2004, Dejan Govedarica (FR Yugoslavia) in 2000 and Anton Ondrus (Czechoslovakia) in 1976.
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