What Was the Highest Scoring Football Game in History?

What Was the Highest Scoring Football Game in History?

Football is all about scoring goals: The more of them, the better. Football fans enjoy watching a dramatic game, although such matches are usually painful for the players and the fans on at least one side.

We’ve seen football results in double digits, but do you know about the highest scoring football game in the history of the sport? Let’s see what it is!

Highest Scoring Football Games

Australia 31-0 American Samoa

The match between the national teams of Australia and American Samoa in the 2001 World Cup ended with a result representing the highest score in football on the international stage. Australia scored 31 goals against American Samoa’s team. 

Another record broken in this match was the one for the most goals scored by a player in an international match: Australia’s player Archie Thompson scored a brace of 13 goals out of the 31!

Australia was considered the favourite in this match, and was expected to dominate the field. On the other hand, the team that American Samoa played with was not their first team: Unfortunately, due to visa-related complications, the country was unable to bring the majority of its leading players to Australia for the game. They were forced to play with youngsters, some of them 15-year-old kids, who, according to their coach, hadn’t even played a whole match of 90 minutes up to that point.

This high result could also be due to FIFA’s qualifications system for the World Cup, where smaller teams from OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) were set to play against bigger nations.

Arbroath 36-0 Bon Accord

The previous record for most goals scored in a match was set in the distant 1885 when the Scottish team Arbroath played against Bon Accord in the Scottish Cup. Arbroath had seven years of experience playing before this match, while Bon Accord was just a one-year-old club. Therefore, the game’s outcome was pretty expected, but no one could have predicted a 36-nil result. It would have been even higher, as Arbroath had scored 41 goals, but five were ruled offside.

The 18-year-old John Petrie is one of the few players that hold the record for most goals in a football match in a senior tournament, with 13 goals scored in this match. However, it’s been also reported that Bon Accord arrived at their biggest game up to that point with no official kit for playing. Moreover, they also showed up with only nine players, so two volunteers from the audience had to play for them.

By halftime, the result was 15-0, but the domestic team didn’t even think of slowing down the tempo: By the end, they more than doubled the halftime result.

Police Machine FC 67-0 Bubayaro FC

This match was a battle for promotion in Nigeria’s Nationwide League Division, the lowest tier of the league. It was played between Nigeria’s rivals Police Machine FC and Bubayaro FC with a shocking result of 67-0. It was played on July 7th 2013, and many described the score as scandalous.

The result at halftime was 6-0 for the home team, but everyone was shocked by what happened in the second half: Bubayaro FC scored an enormous number of own goals, which prompted allegations of match-fixing.

There were also accusations from the Nigerian Football Federation Organising Committee, which claimed the result was unacceptable and a scandal of enormous proportions, so they suspended the winner of the match, as well as the suspicious opponents.

Plateau United Founders 79-0 Akurba FC

Meanwhile, on the same day and in the same league, another suspicious match was played between the Nigerian club Plateau United Founders and Akurba FC. The head of the Nigerian Football Federation had doubts about match-fixing, primarily because this match followed the same pattern as the previously mentioned clash.

The result was 79-0, with 7-0 at half-time in favour of the home team, but in the second half, the away team scored 72 own goals, so the NFF’s director of competitions pledged to investigate the match thoroughly. People who attended both games had reported some dubious referee decisions, added time, and that club officials handed balls into play instead of ball boys.

The four clubs were banned from the competition for 10 years because of this match-fixing scandal, and all the players and match officials that participated in the games were banned for a lifetime.

AS Adema 149-0 Stade Olympique de l’Emyrne

This match will be forever written in history, and we doubt someone can beat this result, i.e., the biggest, world-record football score of all time. The match was played on 31st October 2002 between AS Adema and Stade Olympique de l’Emyrne, two teams in the Madagascan topflight, the THB Champions League. The game ended with a result of 149-0, which was actually an act of protest against a referee’s decision.

AS Adema had already won the race for the league title before the match started, but SO de l’Emyrne felt this victory was unfair. Their previous game against Adema was brought to a draw due to a late penalty against SO de l’Emyrne. The latter team considered this a disputed referee decision, without which Adema would not have won the league. 

As soon as the final match started, the away players started scoring own goals at a rate higher than one goal per minute to reach 149 goals. Still, the referee did not stop the game.

This scandal ended in receiving a ban of three years for the offending team’s coach and four players of SO de l’Emyrne, along with a prohibition from playing for another team. The club also holds the record for most own goals scored in a game.

Bottom Line

The matches that produce the most goals are usually the most exciting for fans of one of the most popular UK sports, especially when clubs from lower and higher rankings meet each other.

You probably didn’t expect the highest-scoring football game to have a three-digit result, but these twists make soccer the most thrilling sport in the world!

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