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A first goal scorer is simply what it sounds like – the first player to score a goal in a game of football. It doesn’t matter whether the goal is scored in the 1st or the 90th minute, if not goals have been scored previously, then the playing scoring it will be the official first goal scorer.
When a bet is placed on the first goal scorer it pays out if the player chosen scores the first goal whether they start the game or not. Clearly, a bet placed on a player who is a substitute is much more of a risk, so it is always wise to check the starting line up before making a bet of this kind. None the less, if a player comes off the bench late in the match and breaks the deadlock, bets on them as first goal scorer will pay out. If the first goal has already been scored by the time they come off the bench, then the bet is void.
It should be noted that own goals don’t count toward first goal scorer bets. If the first goal scored in a match is an own goal then the next goal will be the one which counts for the purpose of the bet. Nor does it matter whether the goal is the winning goal or not.
Some bookmakers also accept each way bets on first goal scorers. For bets of this kind, a pay out at each way odds will be made of the player bet on scores the second, third or fourth goal. It’s important to check what those odds will be when placing the bet, and also to enquire whether insurance is available. If it is, then it’s likely that the odds on the original first goal scorer bet will be reduced, but the stake will be returned if the player scores a goal (other than an own goal) after the first goal has been scored.