York9 FC defeated FC Edmonton on Wednesday evening 3-1 in the first leg of their 2019 Canadian Championship QR2 matchup, on the back of three goals scored directly from corner kicks. Luca Gasparotto, Rodrigo Gattas, and Simon Adjei all found the back of the net with headers swung in by their teammates from the corner flag.
That’s the story of another night of Canadian soccer … but it’s also an incredibly rare feat that ought to be highlighted.
According to the Washington Post, corner kicks are converted at about 3.5 per cent – so, 7 corners scored for every 200 attempts, using nice round numbers. The top teams in England score at about twice that rate, with Stoke City posting up a leading 6.2% conversion in their 2017/18 campaign. Still, that makes corners a low-value scoring opportunity relative to other shooting positions on the field, but it also sets up this statistical anomaly.
How many times has a team actually scored three corner kick goals in a single game?
There have been only a handful of three-corner scoring performance throughout the years, but these relatively recent ones are worth recalling.
The Australian national team managed to find the back of the net three times from corner kicks … during a 31-0 win (thirty-one, yes you read that right) over American Samoa back in 2001.
Back in September of 2016, Manchester United defeated Leicester City 4-1, with Chris Smalling, Juan Mata, and Paul Pogba each finding the back of the net from a corner-kick routine.
Internazionale defeated Hellas Verona in Serie A action back in 2013, with Fredy Guarin, Esteban Cambiasso, and Rolando scoring off corners.
And, closer to home, Toronto FC’s 5-2 win over the Montreal Impact in the 2016 MLS Eastern Conference Championship also featured a trio of corner kick goals, with Armando Cooper, Jozy Altidore and Nick Hagglund all getting on the end of crosses whipped in by Sebastian Giovinco from the flag.
So, while it’s not impossible or unheard of, York9’s efforts in the Canadian Championship are still worthy of note.
“All week we’ve been focusing on our set plays, for and against,” York9 head coach Jimmy Brennan said after his team’s performance. “It paid off today.”
It certainly did, and it’s a feat that might never be repeated again, if the odds are any indication.