Own goal

An own goal, also called self goal, is where a player performs actions that result in them or their team scoring a goal on themselves, often resulting in a point for the opposing team, such as when a soccer player kicks a ball into their own net or goal, awarding the other team a point.

In some parts of the world, the term has become a metaphor for any action that backfires on the person or group undertaking it, sometimes even carrying a sense of "poetic justice".[1] During The Troubles, for instance, it acquired a specific metaphorical meaning in Belfast, referring to an IED (improvised explosive device) that detonated prematurely, killing the person making or handling the bomb with the intent to harm others.[2]

A player trying to throw a game might deliberately attempt an own goal.[3] Such players run the risk of being sanctioned or banned from further play.


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