But in football’s long history, there’s only one match that truly deserves to be called “crazy”. It featured both teams trying to score own goals.
The game in question was Barbados vs Grenada in the 1994 Caribbean Cup. To make the tournament more interesting, a local Caribbean genius had thought up a few new rules. (1) Even group matches couldn’t end in a draw. If 90 minutes didn’t bring a winner, there would be extra time. (2) In that extra time, each goal would count double.
Looks harmless enough on paper, but in practise, it proved more interesting than anyone had intended.
The final group match between Barbados and Grenada presented the following situation. Barbados had to beat Grenada by two goals in order to reach the KO stage. Any other result would see Grenada proceed. Already in the first half, Barbados managed to take an early 2-0 lead. Exactly what they needed. But then Grenada made it 2-1. There were seven minutes left to play. Barbados were about to go out. Unless they scored the 3-1.
Or the 2-2.
An equalizer would automatically result in extra time, giving them 30 more minutes to score a single goal that would count as the two goals they needed. One Barbadian player was smart enough to realize this. He ran straight towards his own goal and, after exchanging a few passes with the clueless goalie, shot the ball into the net. 2-2.
It took a few seconds to sink in, but when Grenada had realized what happened, they knew what to do. They had to score an own goal as well to avert the extra time. With only 5 minutes remaining the crowd witnessed the spectacle of Barbados now defending both goals. They managed to hold on. Once extra time began, the Barbadians switched back to normal tactics and scored the decisive goal. The rules meant they had won by 4-2. A place in the final round was rightfully theirs.