What's up with the own goal epidemic in Brazil?

Dirty Tackle
What's up with the own goal epidemic in Brazil?
What's up with the own goal epidemic in Brazil?

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More own goals landed in the back of the net in the first four days of the 2014 World Cup than the entire 2010 World Cup. The tally is halfway to the record 6 own goals scored in 1998.

This is the first time in World Cup history that the tournament kicked off with an own goal, as Brazil gave Croatia a 1-0 lead off Marcelo's own goal. It didn't make a massive difference, though, as Brazil went on to win 3-1.

Since Mexico's Manuel Rosas scored the first own goal in World Cup history in 1930, 39 players have accidently sent the ball careening past their own goalkeepers. Bulgaria did it twice in the first round of the 1966 World Cup and is tied with Spain and Mexico for most own goals, at 3 a piece. Germany and Italy have benefitted the most, on 4 occassions each.

[Related: Brazil survives own goal to win World Cup opener; Croatia coach blasts referee over controversial call]

The most memorable own goal came in 1994. Heading into the Cup, many favored Colombia to win it all. But the tournament quickly spiraled out of the team's control, starting with an own goal off the boot of team captain Andres Escobar. The own goal gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead in their first round match, with Team USA going on to win 2-1. 

Escobar's own goal is remembered more for the aftermath than the actual goal: upon returning to Colombia, Escobar was murdered in a parking lot in his hometown, shot multiple times by the bodyguard of a drug cartel leader who had reportedly lost money on the game.

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Two of this year's own goals came on Sunday, as Bosnia and Herzegovina's Sead Kolasinac scored for Argentina and Noel Valladares of Honduras scored for France. Kolasinac's own goal has been the most costly so far, as Bosnia and Herzegovina fell 2-1 to Argentina. That marked the 14th time that an own goal has made a difference in the outcome of a World Cup game, either leading to a draw or a win for team benefitting from the own goal.

Bosnia's Sead Kolasinac, 5, scores an own goal to give Argentina a 1-0 lead during the group F World Cup soccer match between Argentina and Bosnia at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, June 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Bosnia's Sead Kolasinac, 5, scores an own goal to give Argentina a 1-0 lead during the group F World Cup soccer match between Argentina and Bosnia at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, June 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

The double-own goal performance on Sunday marked the fourth time in World Cup history that two own goals have occured on the same day: it also happened in seperate matches on June 21, 1978 and on June 10, 1998. In 2002, the U.S. and Portugal wiped out the advantage by each scoring own goals in the same match.

Ernie Brandts of the Netherlands is the only player to have personally erased the damage of an own goal. He mistakenly gave Italy a 1-0 lead in a 1978 match, then erased it by netting a goal to even the score at 1 all. The Netherlands went on win 2-1. 

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