Khalfan Fahad's open-goalmouth miss during Tuesday night's Uzbekistan/Qatar Asian Games encounter is perhaps the worst miss in football history. In any effect, it's without question the most galling I've ever seen. In a sport where highlights rather than full games tend to garner players popular notoriety (ie. Joe in the street), Khalfan Fahad has made a name for himself. If you've watched SportsCenter over the last few days you may have seen it, but click here to see the footage of perhaps the most embarrassing fluff of all.
A little perspective, perhaps. It was during the 90th minute of the 2010 Asian Games, held in China and the Qataris were defending Champions. The players involved were teenage Qatari striker Fahad and Uzbek's puzzling custodian, Timur Juraev. The "incident" also happened on the same day that FIFA announced their shortlist for 2010 Goal of the Year Awards (click here to see those goals). Needless to say, this is hardly likely to feature. Whether the forward got the wobbles, the yips or a sudden attack of the brainfarts we may never know; whatever happened, it was a miss for the ages. To make matters worse, Uzbekistan then won the game in extra time and Qatar were eliminated from the tournament. Suffice to say that it was a costly slip by the 18 year-old.
It's also commonly assumed - probably correctly - that a flub of this calibre can haunt a player forever no matter how experienced they may be. We tend to remember the extraordinary mistakes: for example my most fervent memories of both John Terry and William Gallas involve them in tears. Players play the sport aware that with success comes notoriety and unfortunately, Khalfan Fahad must certainly admit with this gaffe he's achieved that, albeit in a manner he would never choose.
You find yourself hoping though that he's able to use such a shaming snafu to improve his game and succeed as a football player: it's one thing to be known for your success and another thing altogether to be infamous for what you didn't achieve.