Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

The strangest ever goals

Luton Shelton
Sheffield United v Manchester City, FA Cup, 2008
More inflatable fun and again the victims' own fans were to blame as Manchester City fans hurled balloons into their own penalty area at the start of the game. A Sheffield cross deflected gently off two balloons, leaving left-back Michael Ball with a air kick and Luke Shelton with an easy tap-in as City went out of the FA Cup.
Luton Shelton
Sheffield United v Manchester City, FA Cup, 2008
More inflatable fun and again the victims' own fans were to blame as Manchester City fans hurled balloons into their own penalty area at the start of the game. A Sheffield cross deflected gently off two balloons, leaving left-back Michael Ball with a air kick and Luke Shelton with an easy tap-in as City went out of the FA Cup.
Gary Crosby
Nottingham Forest v Manchester City, 1990
More pain for Manchester City goalies. Andy Dibble held the ball in his outstretched hand to launch a drop kick. Sneaking up behind him like a pantomime villain, Gary Crosby nodded the ball off his palm and rolled it into an empty net
Dion Dublin
Coventry City v Newcastle United, 1997
Another piece of sneaking skulduggery. Newcastle keeper Given rolled the ball forward to make a routine clearance, unaware that Dublin, having strayed off the pitch in the move just completed, had just trotted back on. He jogged past Given, collected the ball and rolled it into the net
John Eustace (own goal)
Watford v Reading, Coca-Cola Championship, 2008 Traditionally, a goal is awarded when the ball crosses the line between the posts, but the unfortunate John Eustace had an own-goal awarded against him by the referee despite the fact his 'clearance' went at least three feet wide of the post. The referee Stuart Atwell was widely pilloried but the goal and the 2-2 results stood.
Mursyid Effendi
Indonesia v Thailand, Tiger Cup, 1998
Defeat for either side in this final group game meant easier semi-final opposition and avoiding the red-hot tournament favourites Vietnam. With both teams hoping to lose, and with the score at 2-2 in the last minutes the Indonesian defender (and captain) Mursyid Effendi, simply thumped the ball into his own net to celebrate a defeat. It didn't quite work out - both teams forfeited their places in the tournament and Effendi was banned for life.
Paul Peschisolido
Derby County v Nottingham Forest, 2004
More flotsam-based drama. Forest keeper Barry Roche was flummoxed by a backpass re-bounding off a plastic coffee cup left on the pitch. His shanked clearance ran straight to Paul Peschisolido who rammed home Derby's second in a 4-2 win
Peter Enckelman
Birmingham City v Aston Villa, 2003
In the playground, those who couldn't play football would be put in goal - a stereotype backed by Villa keeper Enkelman as he failed dismally to trap a gentle throw-in and the ball ran agonisingly under his foot (but scraping his studs, else the goal would have been disallowed) and into the net. To rub salt in, a Brummie fan ran on the pitch to face up to Enkelman and gloat in the first Birmingham derby for 20 years.
Vanderlei
Cruzeiro v Atletico Mineiro, 2007
An extraordinary piece of dimwittedness from Cruzeiro goalkeeper Fabio. Following his side conceding a third goal, the goalie was still rummaging about in the back of his net looking for the ball, forgetting that, in the professional game, teams are provided with more than one ball. He failed to notice the game had restarted with a different ball and when Vanderlai intercepted a wayward pass he scored in an undefended net, leaving a furious Fabio carrying two balls as he remonstrated with the referee.
Stan Collymore
Blackburn Rovers v Liverpool, 1996
Rovers goalkeeper Tim Flowers had kicked lumps out of his own penalty area in order to make his goalkicks rather easier. But when the ball came back at him in the form of a tame shot from Stan Collymore, the gardening rebounded on him. The pea-roller hit a divot and bounced over Flowers and into the net
Paul Robinson
Tottenham Hotspur v Watford, 2007
Not long after he took an air kick at Gary Neville's backpass and watched it dribble into his own net in England's calamitous loss against Croatia, Tottenham goalkeeper Robinson took a free kick from inside his own half and watched it loop over fellow England contender Ben Foster in the Watford goal

Sunderland's Darren Bent watched in delight during the match against Liverpool as his tame shot deflected off a (Liverpool) beach ball and past the bewildered Pepe Reina.

Technically illegal (the referee should have judged the goal as 'outside interference' and stopped play), it is far from the strangest goal in football history.

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