Friday, August 01, 2008

Soccer Team Wins by Scoring on Itself

 
Friday's Urban Legend: TRUE

This sounds so much like an urban legend that it's astonishing to learn it really happened. The story is covered on snopes.com [Football Follies].

It was a match between Barbados and Grenada in 1994. In order to advance to the finals, Barbados had to win by at least two goals. Near the end of the game Barbados was ahead 2-0 when an error resulted in an own goal by Barbados. With the score now 2-1 the Barbados team was threatened with elimination.

Here comes the funny part. The tournament rules state that in the event of a tie the game will be decided by sudden death overtime and, for the purposes of calculating points, the winner will be rewarded as though they had won by a score of 2-0. In the 87th minute, the Barbados team deliberately scored on themselves in order to tie the game and send it into overtime.

The Granada team realized what was going on and tried to score on themselves to avoid overtime and advance to the finals. (Winning 3-2 would not allow the Barbados team to advance.) Thus you have this bizarre scene where a team is trying to score in its own net while the opposition is defending their opponent's goal.

Here's a video of some of the action. Listen to the commentators. It sounds like a scene written by Monty Python.




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