Why have there been so many own goals at Euro 2024?

There have been nine own goals at this tournament – as many as the first 15 European Championships combined

By Richard Foster for The Football Mine

When the Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen deflected Randal Kolo Muani’s shot past his own goalkeeper to give France 1-0 win and a place in the quarter-finals, he became the ninth player to score an own goal at Euro 2024. It was not the first time France have benefited from an own goal at this tournament – 66% of their goals have been scored by their opponents.

Nine own goals in 44 matches is a startling number. To put it in context, the joint-top scorers in Germany – Cody Gakpo, Georges Mikautadze, Jamal Musiala and Ivan Schranz – have three goals each. Only one team has scored more goals, the hosts Germany with 10. There have been 20 own goals in the last two European Championships, one every five matches. That is remarkably high considering there were only nine in the first 15 European Championships, between 1960 and 2016, an average of one every 30 matches.

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