football

Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon concedes stomach churning own goal against Croatia


Unai Simon had a sickening moment for Spain against Croatia (Picture: Getty Images)

Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon suffered a moment he would love to forget, but never will, as he conceded a bizarre own goal against Croatia in the Euro 2020 last 16 clash on Monday afternoon.

The match was goalless when an innocuous was played back towards the Spanish goalkeeper from midfielder Pedri from nearly the halfway line.

The pass was firm and not along the ground, but Simon was under absolutely no pressure as he went to control the ball with his instep but completely failed to do so.

The ball evaded his boot and bounced away from him into the back of the net, leaving the Athletic Bilbao stopper stranded and embarrassed.

It appeared Simon took the control for granted and was eyeing up his next pass, but his lack of concentration cost him and handed Pedri an own goal which he absolutely did not deserve to have on his record.

Graeme Souness in the ITV studio was remarkably generous to the Spain ‘keeper, saying: ‘The pass back is quite fierce, it’s spinning, it bounces just before him.

‘We’ve all done that. I’m not willing to cut him too much slack, it’s a big occasion and he should be concentrating, but we’ve all done it.’

Own goals have been incredibly common at Euro 2020 so far, with Simon’s unfortune the ninth time a player has put through their own net in this tournament to date.

Amazingly, there had only been nine own goals in the history of the European Championships before this year, but things have changed dramatically on that front.

The Simon/Pedri own goal was strange but probably not the most calamitous of the event so far, which Spain actually benefitted from in the group stage.

With the game goalless, Slovakia’s Martin Dubravka saw a shot come back off his crossbar and the goalkeeper tried to palm it out of play for a corner, only slapping it into his own goal in comical fashion.

Dubravka will take some beating for silliest own goal of the tournament, although Simon has given it a good go.

Also scoring own goals at Euro 2020 have been Lukáš Hrádecký, Mats Hummels, Wojciech Szczęsny, Rúben Dias, Raphaël Guerreiro, Juraj Kucka and Merih Demiral


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