The All Japan High School Soccer Tournament -- Zenkoku Koto Gakko Sakka Senshuken Taikai, for those of you keeping score at home -- is a pretty big deal. The event gets national attention, and is considered the rough equivalent of NCAA March Madness in the U.S. (Yes, the Koshien high school baseball tournament is also the rough equivalent of March Madness in the U.S., so the country essentially has two high school sports tournaments that capture the entire focus of the nation). If there was any question about the event's bona fides, the raucous bands and fans in the background of the video below should assuage those doubts.
The tournament starts with 48 teams in early December and eventually weeds its way through nationally televised rounds down to the January finals, which are held in Tokyo. With that in mind, the following nationally televised blooper was a pretty big deal, as it occurred in the national semifinals.
The poor Japanese fellow who produced the rather embarrassing own goal above is one Hiroshi Miyamoto, whose face was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Needless to say, his face may never be the same, even if he did put on a brave look while trotting back toward midfield for the resulting kickoff.
To be honest, we couldn't figure out whether his team survived the poor clearance or not, as Japanese high school results don't tend to pop up on English-language websites (or Spanish-language sites, for that matter) too quickly, and the event's Wikipedia page has yet to be updated with the 2010 winner.
It goes without saying that whichever team did win, it'll have a hard time reaching the level of international acclaim given to Miyamoto's calamitous accident.