Scoring an own goal is embarrassing, but I can’t imagine how Wigan Athletic goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi managed to pull this one off. At Wigan’s game with Reading on Saturday, Al-Habsi generously gave the Royals a second goal to make it 2-2 just before the 80 minute mark.
Down 2-1, Hal Robson-Kanu of Reading took a chance on goal, but his shot took a deflection off of a Wigan defender. It flew high up into the air, giving Al-Habsi much time to prepare for an easy catch.
As the ball slowly descended down to the ground, the Omani international’s hand-eye coordination seemed to falter for a moment. As his hands closed around the ball, for just one moment, everything seemed to end as it should have. Unfortunately for him, the ball fell right out of his grasp, and despite his desperate attempts to stop it, it went right over the line.
As Al-Habsi sank to grief, a Reading striker went into the goal and took a celebratory shot into the net. Embarrassed over what had just happened, the goalkeeper stayed on his knees for a few seconds, afraid to show his face to the rest of the world.
And the worst part, it all happened in the Premier League, which is considered the world’s most popular and competitive league. Ali Al-Habsi’s own goal could very likely be one of the world’s worst own goals in history. In front of millions of people who tuned into the game on their televisions, the goalkeeper made a mess of a fairly routine catch, and out of all places, it bounced right into the goal.
But the goalkeeper’s screw-up did not prevent Wigan from winning the game, though. Luckily for him, striker Jordi Gomez came to save the day well into stoppage time. Previous to Gomez’s winning goal, he had already netted two for the team, his first at 57 minutes to equalize the score at 1-1 and his second just 11 minutes later to give Wigan the lead.
Gomez managed to score a winner from 10 yards away, completing his hat trick and saving both the team and the goalkeeper in the process. Had not Gomez completed his late strike, Al-Habsi would likely be the laughing stock of the Premier League.
Despite the own goal, Wigan received 3 points from the match, placing them up in 15th place with only 14 points. Considering their previous Premier League results, their currently 4-2-7 record is nothing out of the ordinary. Reading is down in 19th place with 9 points, only topping QPR on the table. They have only recorded 1 win so far this season, the other matches being 6 draws and 5 losses.
The top of the Premier League sees Manchester United in 1st with 30 points and Manchester City in a close 2nd with 29. West Bromwich Albion is currently in 3rd with 26 points, while Chelsea is trailing in 4th with only 25.