From Goalkeeper to Goalscorer: Can a Goalie Score a Goal?

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The game of soccer can take some exciting twists and turns in the last thrilling minute, a goal can break a tie. A lot depends on the goalkeeper to protect his team’s goalpost without leaving his position. Apart from the position’s constraints, can a goalie score a goal? 

There is actually a rare possibility for goalies to score goals themselves. It has occasionally happened in a crucial moment of the game and really turned the tide! 

Some of them have become iconic moments in soccer, and a few goalies have milestones attached to pulling off this near-impossible feat. 

While such moments enhance the entertainment value, a goalie attempting to score a goal or, in this case, making the perfect goal is often seen as a humiliating moment for the rival “goalie”. 

Without bending the rule, such goals are part of fair play, but the discussion about if and when “a goalie scores a goal” is a popular subject of debate. 

Can A Goalie Score A Goal?

A goalie can score a goal as long as he doesn’t throw the ball using his hands. They can distribute the ball using their hands only within their own penalty area. 

The goal is counted as fair if the goalie is the final player to make contact with the ball before it crosses the goal line. It is rare to come across such an event, but it perfectly aligns with the game rulebook. 

A goalie is expected, by default, to be guarding their team’s goalpost and cannot risk their position. Any attempt to move from the penalty area will expose the goalpost to the opponent team. 

There has to be a special reason for the goalies to score in critical moments when the need for a goal outweighs the defensive risk. Soccer often paves the way for such moments, where goalies, under perfect conditions, can score a winning goal.

A long-range goal kick by a goalie is an amazing sight to watch, or when the goalie joins his attacking teammates in the opponent’s penalty area at the last moment. 

Why Are They So Rare? 

Scoring goals is not the role of a goalkeeper, they are expected to be positioned within the penalty area to stop advancing attacks from the opponent team. 

They are only trained for defensive roles and scoring goals as a result of a special skill set honed particularly by the outfield players. 

The opposing team may take advantage of the goalieā€™s unusual interference beyond the penalty area. They can easily defend against any goalie’s attempt to score a goal because of the goalkeeper’s positional responsibilities. 

The spirit of game and camaraderie among goalkeepers sometimes considers this attempt ā€œdisrespectfulā€, and is seen as a move to undermine the opposing goalie’s skill or to exploit their positional constraints.   

The primary defensive role and tactical consideration of the game make it a rare and extraordinary event. However, if executed, it becomes one of the most cherished and celebrated moments of the game.  

Which Ways a Goalie Can Score?

A goalie can score a goal in crucial moments when the opponent team’s defense is loose. The sole burden of stopping the ball falls on the defending goalie alone. 

If a goalie manages to use the right condition, the goalie can go for a direct free kick. This requires striking the ball accurately enough to penetrate the penalty area.  

Under favorable wind conditions, the goalie can score a goal by taking a long-range goal kick. This requires striking the ball accurately and powerfully enough to kick the ball directly into the opposing team’s goal from the penalty area. 

Soccer, in rare occurrences, finishes with an unusual last-minute thrill when even one goal in those few last seconds changes the game completely. Under such circumstances, a goalie can leave their position to join with fellow outfield players. 

They may even end up scoring the goal as long as the old habit of touching the ball by hand doesn’t overpower them. 

Most Famous Goals from Goalies

Jose Luis Chilavert had a celebrated run as a goalkeeper, the Paraguayan goalkeeper is still remembered for his free-kicks and penalty kicks. 

Jimmy Glass gave one of the most celebrated moments in English Football history by scoring a dramatic last-minute goal as a goalkeeper. He scored the goal in the 94th minute, saving his team ā€˜Carlisle Unitedā€™ from relegation. 

Soccer fans across the world cherish this goal and dub it a “great escape” for its historical significance. 


Can a goalkeeper score a goal by throwing the ball?

No, a goalkeeper can never score a goal by throwing the ball. That goes against the rule, and the goal would be unaccounted.

Can a goalkeeper score a goal with his hands?

No, a goalkeeper cannot score a goal with his ball. This is also against the rules.

Can a goalie get an assist in soccer?

Yes, a goalie can get an assist if they distribute the ball to a teammate who then scores a goal. Although rare, it can happen.

How far can a goalie come out in soccer?Ā 

The goalkeeper can come out of the penalty area, but they cannot handle or distribute the ball using their hands outside of this area.

Can the goalkeeper run with the ball?Ā 

Yes, the goalkeeper can run with the ball as long as they don’t use their hands.

Can a goalkeeper pick up the ball twice?

No, a goalkeeper cannot pick up the ball twice after releasing it into play without another player touching it.

Can a goalkeeper score an own goal?

Yes, a goalkeeper can score an own goal if they accidentally put the ball into their net.

Can a goalkeeper score an own goal from a goal kick?

Yes, a goalkeeper could score an own goal directly from a goal kick if they miskick it into their own goal.

Can a goalkeeper score from a goal kick?

Yes, a goalkeeper can score a goal directly from a goal kick if they kick it into the opponent’s goal.

Can a goalkeeper score from a drop kick?

Yes, a goalkeeper can score directly from a drop kick if they drop kick it into the opponent’s goal.


While it is rare for a goalkeeper to score a goal in soccer, in crucial end-of-game situations requiring a goal, some goalies have taken the risk to join the attack. Such rare feats occur mostly in the final minutes of the important matches. 

It is common to see goalies stepping up to take free kicks or penalties, and scoring from open play is rare. But that doesn’t stop goalies from responding to the moments that call for it. 

Some goals scored by goalkeepers have turned defeat into victory which shows rarely as the game demands that goalies need to become goal scorers when it counts.

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