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5 Game-changing Goalkeeping Mistakes in the final of a tournament

Govind Sunil
Top 5 / Top 10
3.71K   //    Timeless

Robert Green's howler in the 2010 World Cup

Gary Speed once said, "Everybody makes mistakes, but when goalkeepers make them, it is costly. That's the nature of being a goalkeeper."

A goalkeeper can't win a match for his team, he can only save it. They might have pulled off some blinders in the past, but most of them will be remembered, only for their blunders. We have seen some crazy howlers in the past and let's take a look at five game-changing errors by a goalkeeper that cost their teams the title.

#5 Oliver Kahn: Germany 0-2 Brazil - 2002 World Cup Final

Oliver Kahn put up a flawless display throughout the entire tournament, conceding just a single goal until the final, which earned him the Lev Yashin Award for the best goalkeeper of the tournament.

The world's best goalkeeper at that time, he had single-handedly guided his team to the final, and they were all set to battle it out against the mighty Brazilians. In the final, Brazil knew they had a mammoth obstacle to overcome in the form of Kahn, who was in the best form of his life, to keep their dreams alive.

Everything looked under the control of the Germans for 66 minutes, but then, one error from their captain proved to be the gamechanger. The German shot-stopper had fumbled a fierce shot from Rivaldo, and he spilt it right into the path of Ronaldo, who put the ball into the goal to give Brazil the lead. Though he had played the match with torn ligaments in his right ring finger, he refused to blame the injury for his mistake.

At the end of the game, leaning against the left post and staring into oblivion, Kahn looked shattered and watched the Brazilians lift the trophy, stonefaced. Kahn was still awarded the Golden Ball for his exceptional efforts throughout the tournament and became the first goalkeeper in history to win the prestigious award.

#4 Luis Arconada: Spain 0-2 France - Euro 1984 Final

After a lacklustre display in the 1982 World Cup in Spain, the Spanish Armada set out to rediscover their magical touch in the 1984 Euros. They had a 5ft 8in wizard in their squad and was called the 'El Pulpo' (the Octopus), Luis Arconada, who was their secret weapon.


He had a nervous outing during the World Cup, but the Spanish captain redeemed himself by inspiring his team to the finals of Euro 1984. Spain had been going through one of their darkest phases, but to end their 20-year wait, they had an uphill task to accomplish: defeat France on their turf, at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

The French team was best remembered for the famed Carré Magique: Alain Giresse, Jean Tigana, Luis Fernandez, and Michel Platini. Platini was in staggering form, finding the back of the net eight times in the entire tournament. Throughout the tournament, Arconada had been exceptional, but much like Oliver Kahn in the 2002 World Cup final, one costly goof up in the second half changed the entire landscape.

The French were awarded a freekick, right outside the penalty box and Platini was entrusted with the kick. 'Le Roi's' effort slipped under the body of Arconada into the corner of the net, gifting the Les Blues the much-needed breakthrough they would have never relinquished.

Elation for the French captain, dejection for his Spanish counterpart.

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