Own goal of the year? Goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha's bizarre mistake gifts Galatasaray victory

Locked 0-0 in a cagey opening Europa League group stage match, it should have been a routine catch for Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha.

Galatasaray’s Türk Telekom Stadium is renowned for generating some of the most intense atmospheres in world soccer, leaving little room for error or hesitancy at the best of times.
Yet those in attendance last night bore witness to one of the worst goalkeeping mistakes of the year, eerily reminiscent of Martin Dubravka’s horror own goal against Spain at Euro 2020 this summer.
    The fact that Strakosha’s blunder was the game’s only goal added further insult to injury.
      Strakosha is consoled by a teammate following his own goal.

      Searching for the breakthrough with just under 25 minutes remaining, Galatasaray midfielder Olimpiu Moruţan floated a hopeful cross into the Lazio box.
        Lazio full-back Manuel Lazzari instigated a series of unfortunate events by making a meal of Morutan’s delivery, slicing the ball to send it spiraling into the sky as opposed to clearing his lines.
        Yet as gravity did its job, Strakosha failed to do his — the Albanian leapt casually to pluck the ball out of the air only to parry it straight into the left post.
          As if taunting him, the ball ricocheted back into Strakosha’s outstretched gloves before nestling in the corner of the net, sparking rapturous scenes among the Galatasaray faithful in the stands.
          Galatasaray's players celebrate taking the lead.

          Lazio toiled for an equalizer — Sergej Milinikovic-Savic squandering a golden opportunity to help spare his goalkeeper’s blushes just minutes after the own goal — but struggled to break down a resolute Galatasaray backline.
            The home side weathered the storm, closing the game out to take the three points and send themselves to the top of Group E.
            With the group’s other game between Marseille and Lokomotiv Moscow ending in a draw, Strakosha and Lazio find themselves at the bottom of the group following Matchday 1.

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