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own goal (plural own goals)

  1. (sports) A goal that results from a player putting the ball or puck into the goal of his or her own team; the resulting goal being scored for the opposition.
    • 2014, Jeremy Wilson, “Andrés Escobar murder: Colombia prepare for biggest ever World Cup match on 20th anniversary of death,” The Daily Telegraph, 2 July, 2014,[1]
      It is 20 years to the day since Escobar was shot dead after scoring the own goal that effectively sealed Colombia’s elimination from USA ’94.
  2. (figuratively) A blunder that damages one’s own prospects.
    • 2011, Fionola Meredith, “Belfast riots are an own goal,” The Guardian, 22 June, 2011,[2]
      No doubt the buzz of army helicopters will sound again in the skies over Belfast tonight, as loyalists continue to score this series of bloody own goals.
    • 2017, Sotirios Zartaloudis, “Theresa May wins election, but ends up the biggest loser,” The Globe and Mail, 9 June, 2017,[3]
      These elections mark a personal humiliation for incumbent Ms. May, who ran a very personalized campaign as a “strong and stable” leader asking British voters to give her a clear mandate to negotiate Brexit. Ms. May scored an unforced own goal by reducing her party’s parliamentary seats and absolute majority.


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