I still have World Cup content, and this might be my favorite World Cup ramble in a while.
Ramble of the Day
The 2018 World Cup was special for many reasons, one of them being that it was Own Goal’s breakout tournament. Scoring 12 times, Own Goal was the tournament’s Golden Boot leader, though he was disqualified because he played for multiple teams. It was something that Own Goal knew going in, and though Harry Kane claimed the prize instead, Own Goal will leave Russia pleased with his performance.
To celebrate Own Goal, I have decided to rank all 12 of his goals. I will start with the worst and make my way to the best. Sound cool?
12. Australia’s Aziz Behich for France
The first of the boring entries, Behich’s shot had nothing to do with him. Paul Pogba does all of the work, though it is a nice finish.
11. Nigeria’s Oghenekaro Etebo for Croatia
Another case of right place, right time (or wrong place, wrong time depending on the audience). Etebo gets all of the credit, but does little work.
10. Russia’s Denis Cheryshev for Uruguay
When will these stop being boring? Nice strike from Diego Laxalt. Cheryshev barely does anything to make sure that ball ends up in the back of the net.
9. Tunisia’s Yassine Meriah for Panama
This one is just like Cheryshev’s. Great effort from José Luis Rodríguez, though Meriah gets the credit.
8. Poland’s Thiago Cionek for Senegal
This one’s a bit more interesting. Cionek’s leg really alters the trajectory of the ball, adding more visual interest than some of the other ones.
7. Egypt’s Ahmed Fathy for Russia
Fathy does well to help the opposition get the goal they needed to qualify for the next round. Once that ball was coming towards him, there was no way it wouldn’t end up in the back of the net.
6. Croatia’s Mario Mandžukić for France
Finally, own goals with some skill involved. I do feel bad that Mandžukić’s own goal came in the final of the World Cup, but that is a nice header.
5. Morocco’s Aziz Bouhaddouz for Iran
Bouhaddouz did one better than Mandžukić, scoring a beautiful diving header. Again, this one came somewhat tragically, at the end of a match that Morocco maybe should have won, but Bouhaddouz finisheed that chance nicely.
4. Mexico’s Edson Álvarez for Sweden
This one is just funny because it comes off of Álvarez’s hand. The replay shows all you need to see, as the action looks clumsier — and funnier — in slow motion. Also, goalkeepers look so much funnier in slow motion.
3. Russia’s Sergei Ignashevich for Spain
I’m not sure if Ignashevich is exactly proud of this moment, but he scored a backheel in a World Cup knockout match that his team eventually won. If you frame it like that, it doesn’t sound so bad.
2. Brazil’s Fernandinho for Belgium
That is as beautiful a header as you could ask for. Well done, Fernandinho.
1. Switzerland’s Yann Sommer for Costa Rica
Just think about it: a goalkeeper saves a penalty kick, only for the ball to end up behind him, bounce off his head, and end up in the back of the net for an own goal. There may never be another goal like it. Enjoy it, folks.
tl;dr: There were some pretty good own goals at the World Cup.
Links of the Day
Italian clubs Parma and Chievo Verona could be retroactively relegated for possible match fixing and misreporting the transfer of 30 players, respectively.
The mother of Brazil and Shakhtar Donetsk player Taison has been rescued after being kidnapped.
David Squires sounds off on France and the 2018 World Cup in his latest cartoon.
Today’s longer read: Shannon Sims on the women in Zanzibar who have created a league for themselves despite resistance from men in their country for The New York Times