The own-goal: that most unfortunate of footballing follies. A moment of mayhem for those who concede one, and a giddying opportunity to celebrate for the opponent who benefits.
Two examples were scored in the Bundesliga on Matchday 13, with Schalke's Benjamin Stambouli taking the league's tally to 999 in the 4-4 draw with Borussia Dortmund, before
Hoffenheim's Kevin Akpoguma put through his own net away to Hamburg, marking the Bundesliga's 1,000th such Eigentor and offering us ample opportunity to ponder the worst that came before.
Willi Schulz was a defender of outstanding repute and rightly deserves his place among the Bundesliga’s legendary performers. Yet it was to the Bochum-born sweeper’s eternal bad luck that he will forever be credited with the man who first put through his own net in Germany’s top-flight. A Schalke player in 1963, Schulz brought parity for Kaiserslautern in the teams’ August Bundesliga meeting. Yet the West Germany international was eventually spared a sinking feeling, as the Royal Blues rallied to win this away fixture 3-2.
Watch: Check out our medley of the best, and worst, Bundesliga own-goals!
The most spectacular
Had this gone in at the other end, Christoph Kramer would be hailed a hero with a finish so fine, it was worthy of praise. Yet with Borussia Mönchengladbach having soaked up Borussia Dortmund’s intense pressure, 22 shots and seven corners to Gladbach’s nil and survived a couple of Marco Reus efforts that hit the woodwork, Kramer appeared. A swift, floating backpass from distance that dropped into the net left Dortmund fans behind the goal in disbelief, and Kramer red-faced.
There have been two players who scored six own goals in Bundesliga history: Manfred Kaltz and Nikolce Noveski. Added to Kaltz’s unwanted haul, is the fact he even managed three own goals in one season [1977/78]. Mainz’s Noveski, meanwhile, can lay reluctant claim to being one of six players to have put past his own goalkeeper twice in the same match. Remarkably, in said fixture against Eintracht Frankfurt in 2005, Noveski also scored one at the other end in a 2-2 draw!
On December 12, 2009, a remarkable occurrence came to pass during Hannover’s heavy loss against Borussia Mönchengladbach. During the 5-3 reverse at BORUSSIA-PARK, the Red Shorts conceded three own-goals, with Karim Haggui netting two of them and Constant Djakpa scoring the other. It was the first time three own goals by the same team in a single game were recorded in a Bundesliga match.
Going into the last day of the 1999/2000 season, Christoph Daum’s Bayer Leverkusen had the Bundesliga title in sight. Register at least a point in an away game against Unterhaching and the title was there for Die Werkself. Yet an own goal from Michael Ballack paved the way to a shock 2-0 loss and with Bayern Munich winning elsewhere, the Bavarians snatched the Meisterschale at the death.
The most bizarre
Mönchengladbach are the opponents and Marcel Witeczek’s apparently harmless, looping, deflected effort is dropping toward the Energie Cottbus goal. Watching it all the way, goalkeeper Tomislav Piplica is perhaps put off by the ball clipping the crossbar, before it drops onto the custodian’s head and into the net. Ouch!
It’s a knockout!
Augsburg goalkeeper Marwin Hitz was left out for the count when his teammate Matthias Ostrzolek committed an act of friendly fire in the 2014 clash with Mainz. Desperate to clear a ball that had bounced dangerously against an upright, Ostrzolek blasted against the face of his goalkeeper and looked on in dismay when the outcome was an own goal, a groggy keeper and a 3-0 defeat for the Bavarians.