Sport Vote: Contest of the Decade
Vote for your favourite sporting moments of the decade
Thursday 17 December 2009
The Noughties have been a momentous decade for sport, with contests that will live long in the memory, tears and triumph, heroes and villains.
An Independent panel has shortlisted their Contests of the Decade - check out the list below and vote in our poll to let us know what your Contest of the Decade is...
Liverpool v Milan 2005
The greatest comeback in the history of football. At half time the Italian supporters in the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul unveiled a vast banner that said simply "Forza Milan", it epitomised their dominance of the European Cup final. Three-down, the Liverpool dressing room was chaos, some fans began singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" while others left in disgust. What followed was 15 minutes that stunned the game from a team that manager Rafael Benitez privately believed was not very good, a fabulous double save by Jerzy Dudek and a penalty shoot-out the English side won.
Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal 2008
No match at Wimbledon since Bjorn Borg's epic final with John McEnroe had so captivated Centre Court. Both men were at the very peak of their careers in 2008: Nadal had won the French Open, Federer had won five consecutive Wimbledon titles. At four hours and 48 minutes it was the longest Wimbledon final in history and finished with Nadal triumphant in darkness and flashbulbs.
The Rugby World Cup final 2003
England, 1966 apart, weren't supposed to do World Cups and Australia, the defending champions were on their home turf in Sydney. The final was an epic. Jason Robinson's try gave Clive Woodward's side a 14-5 half-time lead but Elton Flatley's penalty seconds from time levelled the scores. Yet with 21 seconds remaining Jonny Wilkinson struck the final blow. Cue celebrations in Trafalgar Square.
The Brazilian Grand Prix 2008
The race for the 2008 world title was one in which Lewis Hamilton, the fresh-faced 23-year-old from Hertfordshire, and Felipe Massa engaged in an epic hand-to-hand contest which culminated in Hamilton needing to finish fifth at Interlagos to become the youngest man ever to win the title. He was sixth and Massa was already across the line and celebrating when on the final lap Hamilton overtook Timo Glock to clinch the title – by a single point.
The Ashes 2005
There were two Ashes victories for England in the decade but 2005 shades it because they undid a truly great Australian side with McGrath, Warne, Gilchrist and Ponting – the best pace-bowler, spinner, keeper and batsman in the world. You can choose from so many moments, Flintoff consoling Lee after the two-run victory at Edgbaston, first Ponting and then the unlikely figure of McGrath denying England at Old Trafford and then Warne trying everything he knew as England stumbled towards a victory target at Trent Bridge. Cue more celebrations in Trafalgar Square.
Padraig Harrington v Sergio Garcia
The Spaniard had led from the first day of the Open at Carnoustie in 2007 and finished the third six clear of the Irishman before Harrington shot four birdies plus an eagle to seize the lead on the Sunday. He then sent two shots into the burn at the final hole to give Garcia a 10-foot putt for victory. The Spaniard missed and in the play-off struck the pin while Harrington kept his nerve.
Germany v England 2001
It was certainly the most famous scoreboard of the decade, the Olympiastadion in Munich displaying "Deutschland 1, England 5". If West Ham won the 1966 World Cup, then Liverpool, in the shape of Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard, swept the Germans aside after Carsten Jancker gave them the lead. Sven Goran Eriksson briefly seemed a performer of miracles.
Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe 2009
A second mention in the awards for this year's Arc – but deservedly so. This was supposedly a race too far for Sea The Stars, the winner of the Derby and then the 2,000 Guineas. However, no victor in Europe's most prestigious race since Mill Reef in 1971 captured the imagination in the way that this Irish three-year-old did. If the Derby had been a stroll, "won in slow motion" according to jockey, Mick Kinane, this was a sweaty struggle through an awesome field.
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