As 2019 comes to a close, we’ve been taking a look back at the top five moments of what has been a fantastic year for sport. From the majesty of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, to the record breaking FIFA Women’s World Cup – it’s been without a shadow of a doubt a year to remember. These are my Top Five moments of the year, complete with some notable mentions at the bottom.
5 – Liverpool complete comeback against Barcelona in the UCL
Back on May 2019, Liverpool came into the second leg of their tie with Barcelona needing a miracle to progress to the final. Having lost 4-0 at the Nou Camp two weeks prior, the odds were stacked against Klopp and his men, but that did not phase the Reds.
The comeback started earlydoors as Divock Origi bagged with just seven minutes on the clock. They’d have to wait until the second half for the second goal though, as the introduction of Gini Wijnaldum seemed to spark the Reds into life. He scored two quick fire goals before an ingenious, quickly taken corner-kick by Trent Alexander-Arnold resulted in Origi netting a very famous winner for Liverpool. Klopp’s men would win the tie 4-3 on aggregate, before going on to beat Spurs 2-0 in the final in Madrid.
4 – South Africa win the Rugby World Cup with Siya Kolisi as captain
A kid from the depths of nowhere in South Africa, Siya Kolisi, walks out onto the field in the World Cup final in Japan as the first EVER black captain of South Africa. For any nation in the world, this would be a feat, but for a country so steeped in controversial history when it comes to race, this is a huge deal.
Kolisi represents change in South Africa, and when he lifted the trophy after the Springboks defeated England in the World Cup final, it was a huge moment. Sport means so much everywhere around the world, but nowhere in the world can one sport have as big an impact on the society around it as rugby does in South Africa.
In 1995, Francois Pienaar lifted the Webb Ellis cup aloft with Nelson Mandela stood beside him – clad in his rugby attire. 12 years later in 2007, John Smit stood on the grass at the Stade de France and lifted the trophy, with Mandela’s successor Thabo Mbeki by his side. In 2019, it was the turn of Siya Kolisi, who hoisted the trophy aloft with the help of current president Cyril Ramaphosa. A touching moment all sports fans the world over…
3 – Lewis Hamilton wins sixth World Championship
This year, Lewis Hamilton completed a historic sixth World Championship win, putting him just one drivers championship behind the legendary Michael Schumacher. Hamilton has dominated the sport for the last five years, and this season was no different, winning the title by a massive 87 points.
For the last few races of the season, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Lewis was going to win the title – it was just a case of when. The answer to that came in Austin, Texas, USA on the 3rd November, with two races still to spare in the season. It’s a measure of the man that even in a race where eighth would do, he still went all out to try and win the race – eventually coming up just short due to race strategy. An incredible drive by an incredible driver to seal another incredible year – Lewis is, in my opinion, the greatest of all time.
2 – Tiger Woods wins the Masters
As well as that, this was the first major tournament win for Woods in over ten years – the last coming at the US Open in 2008. Watching Tiger come down to the green on the 18th at Augusta, knowing he needed only to par to win was such a great feeling. He let out an almighty roar at the end – completing what was, for me, the greatest sporting comeback of all time.
Following what has been a torrid few years for Tiger Woods as he battled through back injury after back injury, and dropped out of tournament after tournament, he completed the comeback of all comebacks to win the Masters for a fifth time. Now only one behind the legendary Jack Nicklaus, Woods overcome all the odds to win his first green jacket since 2005.
1 – England win the cricket world cup in a Champagne Super Over
This was, without a doubt THE moment of the sporting calendar this year, perhaps even of the decade. England and New Zealand faced off in the final of the 2019 Cricket World Cup BUT the sides could simply not be split. Both sides scored 241 runs in their innings, sparking the ultimate cricketing tie break – a super over.
In the super over, England sent out their hero of the day Ben Stokes alongside Jos Buttler. The pair put up an impressive score of 15 in their super over, meaning New Zealand needed 16. The Kiwis sent out James Neesham and Martin Guptill and looked like they were going to chase down England’s score as they hit a six from Jofra Archer’s first delivery. At the final delivery, NZ were on 14 runs and needed two to win the World Cup – Archer delivered, Guptill hit it and the crowd held their breath.
Jason Roy, having fumbled a similar ball earlier on, had the responsibility of fielding it. Neesham and Guptill made the first run, but needed to get back for a second – Roy picked up the ball, threw it to the keepers end where Buttler was waiting to take the bails off – cue sheer pandemonium around Lords Cricket Ground, as well as the rest of England and Wales. England won by virtue of having hit more boundaries during their original innings than NZ did in their’s – “the barest of all margins…”
This one needs to be seen. Watch it here:
This moment, for all the sheer joy and chaos it brought out across the country, was by far and away the best sporting moment of the year in my opinion.
- Vincent Kompany’s late screamer against Leicester that put Manchester City on the verge of winning the 2018/2019 Premier League.
- Eliud Kipchoge becoming the first man in history to run a marathon in under two hours.
- England’s Lionesses repeatedly breaking the viewing figures record for a women’s football match during the Women’s World Cup.
- England’s Lionesses selling out Wembley for the first time ever, resulting in the biggest attendance at a women’s football match in the UK by some distance.
- Suzann Pettersen sinks a put to win the Solheim Cup for Europe.
What’s your top five? Reply below to let me know.
Searching for more like this? Why not check out our Top Ten Formula One drivers of the decade here.