By Pete Wilson
6 May 2010
Motherwell came back from 6-2 down to draw 6-6 against Hibernian in the Scottish Premier League on Wednesday evening to equal the highest scoring draw in any top division in the history of world football.
As far as we can ascertain within a short time period, it appears to be highest scoring score in professional football history regardless of division, although we welcome extra information from around the world to the contrary. The game was definitely the highest scoring game in SPL history.
The last time a 6-6 draw happened in the professional game was on Saturday 7 August 1999, when Genk – then the Champions of Belgium – opened their title defence in the 1999-2000 season with a 12-goal thriller against Westerlo. That match included five penalties and four red cards.
The Motherwell–Hibs game, which was hugely important for the teams concerned as they are battling each other for a Europa League place next season, also had a penalty, although it was missed by Motherwell.
Motherwell’s equalizer for 6-6 was an absolutely stunning angled volley by Lukas Jutkiewicz, three minutes into four minutes of added time after the regulation 90 minutes. It’s now on YouTube, and in the clip linked here, fast-forward to 4min 40sec if you just want to see that remarkable 12th goal of the game. The player, born in Southampton, is on loan from Everton.
Craig Brown, Motherwell’s 69-year-old former Scotland manager, said in a post-match interview likely to go down in lore: “At 6-2 I thought it was gone . . . Another five minutes [at the end] and I think we’d have won.”
In British professional football history, there have been two previous 6-6 draws, both in England. Leicester and Arsenal drew 6-6 in April 1930 in the top division, and Charlton drew 6-6 with Middlesbrough in October 1960 in the second division. (Charlton, it should be noted, also had home wins that season of 6-4, 7-4 and 6-2, and finished no higher than seventh in the second tier.)
Motherwell’s comeback against Hibs was stirring, but not quite on a par with another game involving Charlton, this time in the Second Division in 1957, when they came back from 5-1 down to win 7-6 against Huddersfield, who were managed at the time by a bloke called Bill Shankly. Whatever became of him?
A selection of cuttings / related articles about that 7-6 result (the only time an away team has scored six and lost in English league football) are linked here.
- In other British football news, Tottenham beat Man City 1-0 on Wednesday to guarantee a first ever appearance in the Champions League, next season, in the qualifiers at least. We suspect that may secure a few lines of space in the mainstream media in the next few days.