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Can a Goalkeeper Score In Soccer?

There are many different positions in soccer and all of them have their own roles and responsibilities that a player has to do right in order for their team to win a match.

One of the toughest positions to master is that of a goalkeeper. The primary job of a ‘keeper’ is to prevent the ball from going into the goal they protect; this can be done via any means necessary including using their hands. 

Given that their job is to stop goals from being scored, you may be wondering whether it is possible for them to go down the other end of the field and score for themselves? Today we will be answering this question by looking at some of the greatest moments in goalkeeping history. 

Goalkeepers can score in soccer, just like any other player on the field. Goals from keepers are very rare though as it isn’t often the player between the sticks finds himself in the right place to score. On even rarer occasions, keepers have scored from goal kicks. A goalkeeper cannot use their hands to score goals.

How Can a Goalkeeper Score?

A goalkeeper is a player like any other on the field when the ball finds its way to their feet, this means that if they had the ability they could, in theory, run up the field and score a wondergoal.

They can also pass the ball up the field to help the attackers move up and score for themselves, this is actually a very common way for teams that are struggling to create chances of scoring goals, especially those with a ‘target man’ at the top of the field. 

Another way that goalkeepers sometimes score goals is by getting themselves into the opposition’s 18-yard box for a corner or free-kick late in the game. This tactic is often used by teams that are desperately searching for an equalizer or even a late winner in an important match.

The outcome is mostly that the ball does not find its way to the goalkeeper as they are less likely to score than their outfield teammates, though on some occasions they have managed to put the ball in the back of the net to wild acclaim from the fans and media alike. 

The final, and possibly most common way that goalkeepers can score goals is through a goal kick. Unlike some set-pieces such as throw-ins, a keeper can score directly from a goal kick just like it a free-kick. Once again, these goals are still very rare and are remembered fondly by anyone who witnesses them.  

A lot has to go right (or wrong) for a goal kick to find its way into the oppositions’ goal, much of it has to do with the positioning of the opposition goalkeeper and the direction of the wind. If the ball is struck true and catches the right gust of wind, it can elude the entirety of the opposition team.

Here’s one example of this:

For goalkeepers, one of the ultimate embarrassments is to concede to a fellow goalkeeper; most actually apologize for scoring against one another. 

Why Are They So Rare? 

As we have already touched upon, these kinds of goals are incredibly rare and there are a number of reasons for this.

Firstly, the fact that goalkeepers are the last line of defense preventing the opposition from scoring means that they are almost never in the position to score.

Even when their team is attacking a goalkeeper is expected to stay in their area of the field, just in case the opposition spring a counterattack. 

In terms of long-range strikes, we have already discussed how the conditions need to be nigh on perfect in order for the goalkeeper to score in this manner.

As well as this, most of the times that goalkeepers have scored long-range goals have been through sheer coincidence, without an actual attempt to put the ball in the net.

Some goalkeepers believe that it is disrespectful to their counterparts in the opposition’s goal if they score from a goal kick as it makes them look slightly rubbish.

There is an unofficial club for goalkeepers that they call the ‘goalkeepers union’, this group holds a lot of unwritten rules that most goalkeepers adhere to on the field. 

What Is The Best Goal Scored by a Goalkeeper? 

While they are very rare in terms of the number of goals scored by goalkeepers, there have been plenty of incredible strikes from them over the years.

Everyone will have their own opinion as to which of them was the best but for me the most memorable came back in 2013 when Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic netted against Southampton in the Premier League. 

Here’s the goal I’m talking about:

The reason that this goal is so iconic is that it was scored almost immediately after the start of the game, Southampton kicked-off from the centre circle before Stoke won the ball and played it back to Begovic in order to maintain possession.

Begovic proceeded to launch the ball upfield in an attempt to find Stoke’s forward players however, it overhit the ball and it seemed as though it would simply roll through to the Southampton goalkeeper. 

The wind is famous in Stoke and it was no different that day, with the ball moving constantly while in the air. An awkward bounce made things even harder for the Southampton goalkeeper who totally misjudged it before the ball went over his head and into the goal behind him. 

Begovic’s goal is legendary for a couple of reasons, firstly it was scored after just 12 seconds of play, making it one of the fastest goals ever.

Perhaps more impressively, it is also the longest goal in the history of soccer. Begovic actually received a Guinness World Record for the goal that stood until 2021 when Newport County Goalkeeper Tom King scored from 105 yards out. 

Some other iconic goals that were scored by goalkeepers include Peter Schmeichel’s effort against Rotor Volgograd in 1995 and former Bayern Munich goalkeeper Gerard Hillringhaus’ while playing for SV Turk Gucu in the lower echelons of German soccer. 

The latter of these two goals is one of the most stunning ever scored by a goalkeeper as it was an overhead kick, something that even the best strikers have difficulty doing. If you want to see a truly mesmerizing moment in soccer history, I  highly recommend watching a video of the strike.  

So, now you know that a goalkeeper can score in soccer, but it is something that doesn’t happen very often. Have you ever witnessed a goalkeeper score live? If so, you are among very few that have.