The 1994 Caribbean Cup qualification round saw the introduction of the Golden Goal rule by FIFA as a means of making extra-time a little spicer and to try and force a winner before reaching a penalty shoot-out. In regards to goal difference, the goal would represent two goals in the league table – this was important.
However, whilst on paper it looked a great idea, two teams managed to make a mockery of the rule and use it to their own advantage in circumstances that would be considered rather unbelievable in the game today.
Barbados and Grenada were playing in a group match that was the decider for which team would progress to the next round of the competition. Barbados needed the win after being beaten by Puerto Rico 1-0, whereas Grenada had already been sitting at the top of the ladder following their 2-0 victory over the same side via the use of a double Golden Goal; thus meaning Barbados needed a two-goal victory. In the modern era, it would have been a game that many bettors would have flocked to bookmakers like sbobet to place a wager on as it had all the ability to provide the ingredients for a top clash!
Things started to go as well as possible, with the Barbadians leading 2-0 with just 10 minutes to go, however Grenada then pulled a goal back in the 83rd minute. That result would mean the team would be going out by a goal.
Barbados would then look at trying to get back into the game for a few moments before a lightbulb moment struck. Although they knew they needed to win by two clear goals, they knew that they only had moments to salvage the tie and decided to play the percentage game. They decided that they would have a better chance of scoring in the additional 30 minutes of extra time – as the Golden Goal was worth two goals – and decided to deliberately score an own goal.
In the 87th minute, Terry Sealey and goalkeeper Horace Stoute came up and hatched their plan to send the game into the extra period as the defender smashed the ball into his own net.
However, the players did not account for how much time was left to play and the fact that Grenada could just go up the other end and do the same to their own goal. Grenada tried to do exactly that, as they looked to replicate what Barbados did, which saw the hosts look to defend both goals as much as possible to try and keep the ball out! For punters who like fancy their own chances when gambling, using gclub could be an excellent option.
Grenada boss, James Clarkson, revealed his side did not know which end to shoot at as the bemusing scenes caused utter chaos on the pitch. “Our players did not even know which direction to attack: our goal or their goal,” he said.
The game would go to extra-time and saw Barbados score the crucial Golden Goal, which meant they would be able to progress to the next stage of the competition by the clear two goals that the Golden Goal rule provided teams.
“I feel cheated,” Clarkson said. “The person who came up with these rules must be a candidate for a madhouse. The game should never be played with so many players running around the field confused.”
He added: “I have never seen this happen before. In football, you are supposed to score against the opponents to win, not for them.”
Barbados may have controversially qualified for the 1994 edition of the Caribbean Cup, however they were sent packing at the first opportunity as they failed to win any of their Group A matches against Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago and Guadeloupe.