Three footballs by mobile phone

Do Own Goals Count Towards a Hat Trick?

Goals win games. The mantra for football up and down the country is that if you can outscore the opposition, then you will win your games. If your defence is the star of the show and does not concede goals then, unfortunately, this will only get you so far. A team that draws all 38 of their Premier League games 0-0 will end with 38 points in their season and likely get relegated. A team that wins half of their games by winning 5-4 and losing their other 19 games by losing 5-0 will end with 57 points, near enough to the European spots in the table.

While a good defence will take you places, it will not win a team games on its own. A team with an incisive attack and a fairly good defence will likely win more games than they lose. This is where the great attackers come in, and nothing marks a player being on top goal scoring form more than scoring a hat-trick. A hat-trick is when a player scores three goals for their team in one game. However, what would happen to a player if they scored an own goal as part of their hat-trick, would it still be regarded as a hat-trick? In this guide, we will take a look at what a hat-trick is, what happens if a player scores and own goal, what a hat-trick of own goals is called and more.

What Is a Hat-Trick?

First of all, the basics. A hat-trick is scored when one player scores three goals in a single game. These three goals can be scored by any method and, whether in open play, from a set piece, via the foot, head or body, as long as three goals are scored then it will be regarded as a hat-trick. A hat-trick is regarded as one of the great achievements for a player, although it is usually something that is achieved by attacking players.

A player is not confined to scoring with a single or multiple body parts. Quite often, a player will score a hat-trick with their stronger foot. However, a player can score a ‘perfect hat-trick’ by scoring with their right foot, their left foot and their head. Players can also score a hat-trick of goals from outside of the box and a hat-trick of goals from inside the box.

Does an Own Goal Count Toward the Three Goals?

Own goals
Jon Candy /

No, own goals do not count towards a hat-trick. While teammates of a player may playfully remark their forward ‘scored a hat-trick, pity one was at the wrong end’, they are technically incorrect to term this performance as such.

If a player scores two goals and then scores an own goal, they would only be credited with scoring a brace (two goals scored). Meanwhile, the own goal scored is not seen as a goal in the traditional sense and so does not count towards a player’s goal scoring. This is particularly important in betting. If you have backed Cristiano Ronaldo to score a hat-trick and he scores twice at the right end before netting an own goal, your bet would not pay out as a winner unless he scored another goal at the right end.

It is worth knowing that scoring an own goal will not see a player deducted any goals in betting terms or otherwise. For example, if Lionel Messi scores a hat-trick (three goals) and then scores an own goal, he would not be deducted a goal. There is no equation in football that would see Messi now on two goals for the game (three goals minus one own goal equals two goals). Instead, the two are seen as separate from one-another, so Messi has simply scored two goals and one own goal.

What Would Three Own Goals Be Called?

There does not seem to be a specific and widely agreed upon name for three own goals. You might see it termed as a hat-trick of own goals. Perhaps the reason there is no specific name for this is because it is so rare. Scoring a hat-trick in a game is one of the highest honours a football player can achieve on the pitch.

For example, two of the greatest players of all time in Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have scored 60 and 56 hat-tricks, respectively. This is an exceptional total of hat-tricks from two of the best players to ever take to the field. However, it shows that even this incredible ratio of hat-tricks scored to games played is fairly low. This is not to say that the hat-trick tally of either if paltry, quite the opposite in fact, but it does show just how rare hat-tricks are.

Therefore, the likelihood of a player scoring a hat-trick of own goals will be even lower than scoring a traditional hat-trick. Saying that, a hat-trick of own goals has happened before.

Has a Hat-Trick of Own Goals Ever Been Scored?

Meikayla Moore
Meikayla Moore (Jamie Smed /

Yes, New Zealand footballer, Meikayla Moore, secured the dubious honour as she netted three own goals against the United States. To add insult to injury, she was subbed off after 40 minutes, meaning she was unable to make amends for her horror show.

Her first own goal came via a sliced clearance in the fifth minute. Instead of learning her lesson, she repeated the feat mere moments later, with the ball rebounding off her head and into the back of the net.

She completed her ‘hat-trick’ half an hour later as she turned a cross past her own ‘keeper. The end of her day came mere moments later as she was taken off five minutes after scoring her third goal. While this occurrence was an incredibly rare slice of misfortune, it goes to show that anything can happen on the pitch. Unfortunately for Moore, the likelihood is that even if she scores a hat-trick in her next game, she will struggle to shake the tag as ‘that player that scored a hat-trick of own goals’.