Sunday, January 23, 2022

Own Goals continue to dominate Euro 2020

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Unai Simon missed a backpass as Spain became the latest addition to the list of teams to put the ball into the back of their own net. It seems that ‘own goals’ are running for the golden boot! Spain became the latest victim of an own goal in their Round of 16 clash against Croatia. They did go on to win the goal-laden match but that’s not what we are concerned about. Own goals are raining cats and dogs in Euro 2020 and we still have plenty of fixtures remaining.

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Own Goals continue to dominate Euro 2020
Historic number of Own Goals

The Euro 2020 edition, unfortunately, began with an Own Goal. In the opening fixture between Italy and Turkey, Merih Demiral ended up turning the 1st goal of the tournament into his own net in the second half.

Since then, we’ve seen Lukas Hradecky, Mats Hummels, Wojciech Szczesny, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro, Martin Dubravka, Juraj Kucka, and now, Pedri all find their own nets adding to the tally of own goals. Although Pedri ended up adding their own goal to his stats, it was clearly Simon’s fault. He completely failed to control an easy back pass when the ball was right in front of him.

The unfortunate own goal is the 9th own goal of the season. This number is hilarious when you compare it elsewhere. Euro 2020 has now featured the same number of own goals as every other European Championship combined.

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Own Goals continue to dominate Euro 2020
Euro’s Own Goal History

A total of 9 own goals were scored in the 40 years history (1976-2016) of the tournament. There had never been a European Championship game before Euro 2020 with 2 own-goals. There have been two in Euro 2020 within one week.

Mats Hummels’ own goal in Germany’s 1-0 defeat to France in the group stage equalled the tournament history’s record in just 12 games into Euro 2020. The previous record was 3 own goals in Euro 2016. The scorers of the first 8 own-goals in the group stage ended up on the losing side. This was only broken in the RO16 match between Spain and Croatia where La Roja won with a thumping 5-3 victory. Spain now will join Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Czech Republic, and Switzerland in the Quarter Finals.

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Even though Simon did not register the OG to his name, there have been three goalkeepers who haven’t been so lucky. Poland’s Wojciech Szczesny, Finland’s Lukáš Hrádecký, and Slovakia’s Martin Dúbravka all have contributed to the 9 own goals in Euro 2020. There remain 9 more games to add to the own-goal tally. Let’s hope we do not cross double digits!

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