Almost three decades ago in January 1994, the world of soccer witnessed one of its weirdest moments in history. It was when Barbados took down Grenada 4:2 in the qualifiers, but that doesn’t even come close to telling the whole story. In fact, they had to defend both nets to make it happen! We’ll explain in a bit.
An Oddball Group Consisting of 3 Teams
In 1994, the Caribbean Cup had 3 teams duking it out in Group A for sheer survival. Barbados’ last game was against Grenada, but no normal victory would suffice. In fact, they needed to win by two goals (or more) just for the sake of qualifying. On the other hand, a normal victory would have been enough for Grenada and even a one goal loss would have done the job equally well.
The Weird Penalty Shootout Rule
Before the tournament was in full swing, CONCACAF came in with an experimental and what is believed to be one of the oddest rules to date: ending a qualifier match with a draw was not an option. Instead, if no winner was to be decided after 90 minutes, the game would extend into extra time or be decided by a penalty-shootout.
Now here’s the part where it gets juicy: those who would score a golden goal would get a 2-for-1 deal. So in other words, not only would they be declared the winners, they would be awarded two goals instead of one. It goes without saying how this little detail played an essential role in Barbados’ strategy.
It was all Looking Fine and Well until the 83rd Minute
Before then, Barbados was sitting on a comfortable 2-0 lead. But in the 83rd minute, Grenada managed to score a point. While they were still ahead, a 2-1 victory would foil Barbados’ plans as it was not good enough for the sake of being able to qualify. They pushed hard to score another, but as the game was drawing to its apparent close, no goal was in sight. It was then and then that they realized they needed another strategy.
Deliberately Scoring a Goal
Sealy, a Barbados defender, was the one who came up with the plan that involved deliberately scoring a goal. In essence, this allowed them to artificially push the score to 2-2, granting them a chance to seal the game with a two goal advantage that was possible due to the weird penalty shootout rule that was in effect that year. In total, they received a whole 30 minutes worth of extra time to execute the plan.
Barbados Was Forced to Defend Both Nets
The events that unfolded painted a picture of something unique and never-seen-before in the history of soccer. Grenada was now trying to either score an own goal or a genuine goal, and Barbados was forced to defend both nets. Call it chaotic, but even so, Barbados succeeded in their task. Naturally, the game progressed to extra time. After just 4 minutes, they sealed the deal, ending the game with a glorious 4-2, which allowed them to progress in the tournament.
An Unique Moment in the History of Soccer
Such a scenario in which a team would have to defend both goals never came up again. But even in the now, there are a whole lot of glorious games that deserve your cheer and support. Sportsbet.io is the official partner of the world’s strongest teams, making it an easy task to sign up with them and wager on whoever you believe is the strongest. Best of luck with your chosen heroes!