Thoughts & Prayers

Martin Dubravka spoons ball into net for grisly Euro 2020 own goal, is having much worse day than you

Being goalkeeper is not an easy not job. Not in hockey, not in lacrosse, and certainly not in the crucible of international soccer, where the pressure and hysteria heaped on players makes the New York media seem like Care Bears. If you make a mistake as a goalkeeper, you are a failure as a son and as a father. If you stand on your head for 90 minutes and keep a clean sheet, then you’ve done your job. What did you expect, a cookie?

But what do we know? We’re just stupid chili-cheese-dog chowing Yanks. Instead ask Slovakian goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, who served up absolutely, unquestionably the worst own goal of Euro 2020 thus far. In the immortal words of George Costanza, that is one HUGE matzo ball.

It just doesn’t get grislier than this. Slovakia doesn’t close the ball down so Spain let’s fly from the edge of the box. The ball caroms off the crossbar straight into the air. Dubravka watches it all the way. All he has to do is tip it over the bar for a corner. Instead he palms right into his own net as if he's a waiter serving up tuna crostinis at a party.

“Why anybody would want to be a goalkeeper, I have no idea,” said legendary U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller of the gaffe, a point further reinforced by Spain’s second goal of the day a few minutes later.

Misery loves company and Dubravka got even more of it. He comes for the ball, gets nowhere near it. Now he’s on a walkabout. The ball gets lobbed to backpost as Dubravka scrambles to get back into the net. But he overruns it and Aymeric Laporte calmly sends it back the way it came as Dubravka hits the brakes in vain. It’s a nice finish to be fair, but he probably never gets the opportunity if Dubravka stays home in the first place.

Needless to say, it was a tough day at the office for the Newcastle netminder, who also saved a penalty in the first half that no one on earth will ever remember. Like we said, being a goalkeeper is not an easy job.