The most unusual match in football history
Thanks to an unusual rule, a team could win if they scored own goals
In 1994, during the Caribbean Cup, one of the most unusual matches in football history was played. First, we must understand that the Caribbean Cup was a national football team tournament organized every two years by the CFU - Caribbean Football Union. The tournament served as a qualifier for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the highest national team tournament for Central and North American countries. The competition had its last edition in 2017, as it was replaced by the Concacaf Nations League.
In 1994, the tournament organizers decided to create new rules, with the aim of creating a more interesting football tournament. First, they determined that ties were prohibited, even in the group stage. If the game ended tied after 90 minutes, extra time would be played and, if necessary, penalties. In extra time, they also imposed the golden goal rule. But in addition, they also created an unusual rule, the double golden goal. If a goal was scored in extra time, it was worth 2 goals. That is to say, if a team won 3-2 in extra time, in the end, the final score would be 4-2. Incredible.
During the group stage of the tournament, in Group A were Puerto Rico, Grenada and Barbados, and only the first of the group qualified. In the last match, Barbados faced Grenada. To qualify, Grenada needed at least a draw or lose by just 1 goal to qualify for the next round. Barbados on the other hand needed to win by 2 goals. The match was played at the Barbados National Stadium on January 27, 1994.
After 80 minutes of play, Barbados was leading 2-0, but in the 83rd minute, Grenada scored a goal. Barbados needed to win by a 2-goal advantage, otherwise, they would be eliminated from the tournament. As there was little time left to score a goal, the Barbados coach ordered his players to score an own goal. Let's remember the tournament rules. There were no draws. If the match ended 2-2, both teams would play extra time and Barbados would have 30 minutes to score 1 goal. 1 goal in extra time was worth 2 goals and with that, Barbados would win 4-2 and qualify for the next round.
In the 87th minute, defender Terry Sealey walked over to the goal and scored the own goal. No one could believe what was happening. The last minutes of the game were complete madness. Grenada decided to take advantage of these rules and split their team into 2 teams. 5 players would attack looking for the winning goal (they would win 3-2 and qualify) and 6 players would seek to score an own goal (if they lost 3-2, they qualified by losing by 1 goal difference). Losing was better than drawing. Therefore, Barbados did the same. They divided his players into 2 teams. The rule was clear, Grenada should not score.
In the end, the strategy worked for Barbados. Grenada failed to score and both teams played extra time. Incredibly, Trevor Thorne scored the "double golden goal" for Barbados and thus, they qualified for the next round. Grenada was eliminated in an unusual way.
A few minutes later, Grenada coach, James Clarkson, declared that he was outraged by the match. "I feel like they cheated on me. The person who invented these rules is a candidate for a madhouse. Our players did not know where to attack. I never saw anything like it. In football, you have to score goals against your rival to win, not convert own goals".