The weirdest match ever?

This content was published on April 2, 2008 - 15:50

You'd think a basic winning tactic in football would be to kick the ball between the posts. Your opponent's posts, that is. Most of the time that's true – but an infamous game between Barbados and Grenada in 1994 turned logic upside-down.

Going into the last group game in a Caribbean Cup tournament, Barbados needed to beat Grenada by two goals to reach the final, with a draw after 90 minutes resulting in extra time. Anything less than winning by two goals and Grenada would go through. The catch, however, was that the organisers had decided that in the case of extra time a golden goal would count as two goals.

Barbados took an early 2-0 lead but Grenada made it 2-1 with seven minutes remaining. Barbados were heading out unless they scored a goal – any goal! One Barbadian striker realised that his team were unlikely to score another goal against Grenada with only a few minutes to go and decided that their best chance of winning was to make the game go into extra time and score a golden goal, which would count as two goals. So he promptly powered the ball past his own stunned goalkeeper to make it 2-2.

Now, Grenada needed to score a goal – at either end – to avoid extra time and to go through to the final. The Grenada strikers, having realised what was going on, turned round and headed for their own net, but the Barbadians had anticipated this and rushed to defend the Grenada goal – in addition to their own – until the whistle went for extra time!

Such tactical acuity was rewarded when Barbados scored the golden goal, in Grenada's net, four minutes into extra time.

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