Friday, 21 January 2011

Football - Bloody Hell

Everything you are about to read is true, which is what makes this so bloody wonderful and brilliant. It's my favourite football story of all time, and to be honest I can't believe I've not put it up on here before. I will now try and explain it as clearly as I can, although it's not easy. Turn off your music, stop eating, and read carefully...

It is the Shell Caribbean Cup, and it is 1994. Barbados are playing Grenada, and the scenario at the beginning of the game is relatively simple - Barbados need to win the game by at least 2 goals, but if after 90 minutes the score is tied, there will be Golden Goal extra-time.

The game goes as follows: Barbados take the lead, 1-0.
                                        Barbados score again, 2-0.
                                        Grenada score, 2-1.

There is five minutes left. Grenada are defending like beavers, as 2-1 is fine for them. If Barbados score again however, that's 3-1, and that's good enough for them. They launch attack after attack but just cannot breach the Grenada defence.

And then they stop, and have a think. You see, the organisers of the Shell Cup decided on a completely insane and baffling rule, which went like this - the Golden Goal scored in extra-time counted as double. The 1 goal, counted as 2. You can see where this is going, can't you? In the 87th minute, a Barbados defender deliberately scores an own-goal.

It is 2-2, and means that the game is going to extra-time, and if Barbados can just get 1 goal, that will count as 2, and they will go through - as they need to win by 2 clear goals, remember. So by scoring a deliberate own goal, they have more time and a better chance of winning the game than trying to scramble a goal with 3 minutes left.

But the Grenada players aren't stupid, and they know why Barbados have just smashed in an own goal. And this is where it gets fun - because Grenada now try and score a goal at both ends. This is complicated, but hang with me:

If Grenada a) score a legitimate goal, they win 3-2, and go through.
                b) score an own goal, they will lose 3-2, but will still go through.

However, quite hilariously the Barbados players aren't stupid either, and realise this is Grenada's new game plan. So, in the remaining 3 minutes of the 90, they try to keep hold of the ball, make sure the game is played in midfield, and defend both goals. Unbelievably, their plan works.

The game does go into extra-time, and Barbados score the Golden Goal, meaning that the game finishes 3-2, but because of the nonsense rule they effectively win 4-2, and thus go through.

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