Own goals can be pretty funny for some spectators, frustrating for others and humiliating for the guilty party. But how common are they?
At the most recent FIFA World Cup in Qatar there were just two own goals in the whole tournament. This was in stark contrast to Russia 2018 when 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 2026 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 22 renewals of the FIFA World Cup with 964 matches and more than 2,670 goals scored in that time.
Of those goals scored, only 55 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 55 matches where an own goal was scored, only eight have ended as wins for the team that scored them.
Eight other games have ended as draws meaning that on 39 occasions the team that scored the own goal went on to lose and because only 13 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
|Year||Own Goals||Matches||Own Goals / Game||% Matches With Own Goals|
|Total / Average||53||900||0.06||5.6%|
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
|Year||Hosts||Own Goal Scorer||Nationality||Opponent||Round||Win Or Lose|
|1930||Uruguay||Manuel Rosas||Mexico||Chile||Group Stage||Lose|
|1938||France||Ernst Lörtscher||Switzerland||Germany||First Round||Win|
|1938||France||Sven Jacobsson||Sweden||Hungary||Semi Final||Lose|
|1950||Brazil||José Parra||Spain||Brazil||Final Round||Lose|
|1954||Switzerland||Jimmy Dickinson||England||Belgium||Group Stage||Lose|
|1954||Switzerland||Raúl Cárdenas||Mexico||France||Group Stage||Lose|
|1954||Switzerland||Ivica Horvat||Yugoslavia||West Germany||Quarter Final||Lose|
|1954||Switzerland||Luis Cruz||Uruguay||Austria||3rd Place Play Off||Lose|
|1966||England||Ivan Vutsov||Bulgaria||Portugal||Group Stage||Lose|
|1966||England||Ivan Davidov||Bulgaria||Hungary||Group Stage||Lose|
|1970||Mexico||Javier Guzmán||Mexico||Italy||Quarter Final||Lose|
|1974||West Germany||Colin Curran||Australia||East Germany||Group Stage||Lose|
|1974||West Germany||Roberto Perfumo||Argentina||Italy||Group Stage||Draw|
|1974||West Germany||Ruud Krol||Netherlands||Bulgaria||Group Stage||Win|
|1978||Argentina||Andranik Eskandarian||Iran||Scotland||Group Stage||Draw|
|1978||Argentina||Ernie Brandts||Netherlands||Italy||Second Round||Win|
|1978||Argentina||Berti Vogts||West Germany||Austria||Second Round||Lose|
|1982||Spain||Jozef Barmoš||Czechoslovakia||England||Group Stage||Lose|
|1986||Mexico||László Dajka||Hungary||Soviet Union||Group Stage||Lose|
|1986||Mexico||Cho Kwang-rae||South Korea||Italy||Group Stage||Lose|
|1994||United States||Andrés Escobar||Colombia||United States||Group Stage||Lose|
|1998||France||Tom Boyd||Scotland||Brazil||Group Stage||Lose|
|1998||France||Youssef Chippo||Morocco||Norway||Group Stage||Draw|
|1998||France||Pierre Issa||South Africa||France||Group Stage||Lose|
|1998||France||Andoni Zubizarreta||Spain||Nigeria||Group Stage||Lose|
|1998||France||Siniša Mihajlović||Yugoslavia||Germany||Group Stage||Draw|
|1998||France||Georgi Bachev||Bulgaria||Spain||Group Stage||Lose|
|2002||South Korea and Japan||Jeff Agoos||United States||Portugal||Group Stage||Win|
|2002||South Korea and Japan||Carles Puyol||Spain||Paraguay||Group Stage||Win|
|2002||South Korea and Japan||Jorge Costa||Portugal||United States||Group Stage||win|
|2006||Germany||Carlos Gamarra||Paraguay||England||Group Stage||Lose|
|2006||Germany||Cristian Zaccardo||Italy||United States||Group Stage||Draw|
|2006||Germany||Brent Sancho||Trinidad and Tobago||Paraguay||Group Stage||Lose|
|2006||Germany||Petit||Portugal||Germany||3rd Place Play Off||Lose|
|2010||South Africa||Daniel Agger||Denmark||Netherlands||Group Stage||Lose|
|2010||South Africa||Park Chu-young||South Korea||Argentina||Group Stage||Win|
|2014||Brazil||Noel Valladares||Honduras||France||Group Stage||Lose|
|2014||Brazil||Sead Kolašinac||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Argentina||Group Stage||Lose|
|2014||Brazil||John Boye||Ghana||Portugal||Group Stage||Lose|
|2014||Brazil||Joseph Yobo||Nigeria||France||Round of 16||Lose|
|2018||Russia||Aziz Bouhaddouz||Morocco||Iran||Group Stage||Lose|
|2018||Russia||Aziz Behich||Australia||France||Group Stage||Lose|
|2018||Russia||Oghenekaro Etebo||Nigeria||Croatia||Group Stage||Lose|
|2018||Russia||Thiago Cionek||Poland||Senegal||Group Stage||lose|
|2018||Russia||Ahmed Fathi||Egypt||Russia||Group Stage||Lose|
|2018||Russia||Denis Cheryshev||Russia||Uruguay||Group Stage||Lose|
|2018||Russia||Edson Álvarez||Mexico||Sweden||Group Stage||Lose|
|2018||Russia||Yann Sommer||Switzerland||Costa Rica||Group Stage||Draw|
|2018||Russia||Yassine Meriah||Tunisia||Panama||Group Stage||Win|
|2018||Russia||Sergei Ignashevich||Russia||Spain||Round Of 16||Win|
|2022||Qatar||Nayef Aguerd||Morocco||Canada||Group Stage||Lose|
|2022||Qatar||Enzo Fernández||Argentina||Australia||Round Of 16||Win|