Barbados vs. Grenada in '94: The Most Bizarre Match Ever

GuidoAnalyst IOctober 29, 2008

You would think a basic winning tactic in football would be to kick the ball between the posts. Your opponent's posts, that is. The team that is best at this wins the match.

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 (the Shell Caribbean Cup), Barbados needed to beat Grenada by two goals in order to reach the final. A draw after 90 minutes would result in extra time whereas anything less than winning by two goals would see Grenada through to the final. 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 Grenada playing an ultra-defensive tactic. Instead, he 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 players, initially stunned by the goal and suddenly realising what was going on, turned around and headed for their own net.

Now the comedy really starts as the Barbadians had anticipated this move and rushed to defend the Grenada goal—in addition to their own—until the whistle went for extra time. Now be honest, who could make up a story like this?

In the end, Barbadian ingenuity was rewarded as one of their strikers scored the winning goal four minutes into extra time, which sent Barbados to the final.

As was to be expected, the Grenadians were not amused. Grenada manager James Clarkson was furious. "I feel cheated, the person who came up with these rules must be a candidate for the madhouse.

"The game should never be played with so many players on the field confused. Our players did not even know which direction to attack; our goal or their goal. I have never seen this happen before. In football, you are supposed to score against your opponents in order to win, not for them."

Just in case you doubt this whole story and its authenticity, have a look at this videoclip.

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