While the 2014 World Cup brings with it the usual expectations of wonder goals, last-minute winners and English misery in a penalty shootout, the qualifying rounds revealed that we can also eagerly anticipate some own-goal howlers.
Robert Green's calamity against the USA at the last World Cup will be etched in many England fans' memories, but it did not count as an own goal. In fact, there were no own goals at the 2010 World Cup but according to Fifa there have been 28 own goals since 1930.
At the 2002 World Cup held in Japan and South Korea, for the first time ever in the tournament's history, two own goals were scored in one match, Portugal against the USA, thanks to Jorge Costa and Jeff Agoos.
In the 2014 World Cup qualifying rounds, England were fortunate enough to benefit from an own goal from Montenegro’s Branko Boskovic last October when he beautifully curled a chip into the bottom right corner of keeper Vukašin Poleksic’s goal.
Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel is no stranger to own goals after his early mistake against Newcastle on the last day of the 2013-2014 season. However, he was not at fault during Slovakia’s qualifying match against Greece when his innocent back-pass towards Jan Mucha crept under the goalkeeper’s leg and into the back of the net. That goal proved to be the match winner.
Ecuador’s Juan Paredes scored a seemingly inexplicable own goal against Chile when he wacked a cross into his own net without any danger around him. He did make up for the error by showing huge remorse, falling to the ground, head in his hands in disbelief.
Watch above for the top five own goals from the 2014 World Cup qualifying rounds, including other howlers from Guyana’s Charles Pollard and a defensive mix-up from Greece leading to a glorious own goal in Romania’s favour.