Inspired by Mohamed Diame’s somewhat fortunate strike for Newcastle United last night, we’ve decided to celebrate the lucky side of sport.
The midfielder sent the Toon Army into raptures at The Amex last night as his equaliser against Brighton & Hove Albion proved to be one of the most crucial goals in the Championship – and one of the luckiest anywhere – this season.
With Newcastle trailing their promotion rivals 1-0 in the 81st minute, Christian Atsu’s horribly scuffed volley clipped the toes of team mate Daryl Murphy before ricocheting of Diame’s heel and looping into the top corner of the net.
“If you can’t be good, be lucky” the saying goes and this was certainly that. The lucky break turned a crucial game which Newcastle went on to win 2-1, thus reclaiming top spot in the Championship. What price that goal come May?
Mohamed Diame – Newcastle United vs Brighton & Hove Albion
The luckiest goal of all time has been scored tonight… pic.twitter.com/KGWLe0DfUn
— Dirty Footballer (@DirtyFootbaIIer) February 28, 2017
Inspired by Mr Diame, we thought it a good time to celebrate the lucky side of sport, so we’ve decided to share some of the most fortunate acts of scoring from the across the world of football and beyond.
Darren Bent – Sunderland vs Liverpool
Sticking with football, we move from Tyneside to Wearside for this little beauty from Darren Bent, scored for Sunderland at the Stadium of Light against Liverpool in 2009.
Say the words ‘beach ball’ to anyone on the red half of Merseyside and they’ll no doubt have flashbacks to this infamous goal, which referee Mike Jones inexplicably allowed to stand. He was put on refereeing duty in the Championship the following week.
Gary Neville (own goal) – Croatia vs England
On the other side of the coin, sometimes it’s just not your day. Just ask goalkeeper Paul Robinson, between the sticks for England in their 2-0 away defeat to Croatia in the ill-fated Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.
That piece of Zagreb turf might still give Paul Robinson nightmares… whilst of course it means that Gary Neville will forever have an own-goal on his England record.
Now moving on to some of the luckiest scores from other sports. First up, rugby league and…
Benji Marshall – Wests Tigers vs St George Illawarra Dragons
Benji Marshall was the top points scorer in Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) 2011 season, but these were certainly the most unusual points the Kiwi chalked up… and in a big game too.
It was the preliminary round of the finals series against St George Illawarra Dragons when Marshall put in a very clever air-shot that flumoxed two Dragons defenders, allowing him to regather the ball and head for the try line. Admittedly, it took a great burst of speed and a fine sidestep to seal the deal, but the initial missed kick set the whole thing up.
Ayumu Goromaru – Japan vs Tonga
Last Sunday in Twickenham, Italian Giovanbattista Venditti scored a try that embarrassed a hapless English defence, who watched on as the winger gathered the rebound as Tommaso Allan’s penalty came back off the post, diving over the line for a try that put Italy into a shock lead at the half time interval.
We’re not including that try, however, as it had more to do with a static English defence than pure luck.
The try we’ve selected, from Japan’s Ayumu Goromaru, owes more to a fortunate ricochet and the unpredictable beast that is the bounce of the rugby ball, which takes three kind hops before reaching the full back, who re-gathers his own kick before bursting through some fairly weak Tongan tackles to score.
Coaching Japan that day was Eddie Jones, now in charge of England. You think he’d have learned his lesson…
Beg Doggett – St. Conleth’s College vs Tullow Community School
Of course, sport at all levels has its fair share of amazing, freaky and lucky moments – it’s just not many of them are captured on camera.
Thankfully, this conversion from Ben Doggett, outside half for St. Conleth’s College in Dublin, against Tullow Community School was filmed in all its glory for the world to enjoy.
Occasionally in rugby, football or hockey you might see a shot strike two posts before going in, but to hit the woodwork four times before bouncing over is quite special. Take a bow, Mr Doggett.
Finally onto cricket, which likes to provide us with the occasional freak dismissal, but surely none more bizarre than this effort from the English County Championship in July 2009.
Jonathan Trott – Warwickshire vs Sussex
Just a month before his England debut, batsman Jonathan Trott was fielding at short leg for Warwickshire when Sussex’s Ed Joyce middled a powerful sweep shot straight at him.
Like close-in fielders have to do in such circumstances, Trott jumped and turned his back to protect himself, only to find the ball was smashed straight into his trouser pocket.
He then simply picked the ball out of his pocket for what is, according to the laws of cricket, a perfectly valid catch and surely one of the luckiest dismissals in the history of the game.
Do you feel lucky?
Have you seen any luckier goals, tries, conversions or catches anywhere in sport? If so, we’d love to hear about them, or better still see a video, if the cameras were fortunate enough to be there.