There’s no way we could compile a list of the greatest individual sporting comebacks and not apply it to team sports.
Again, the team here at Pundit Arena HQ sat down to discuss the greatest sporting comebacks by teams. By no means are some of these comebacks as emotional and harrowing as some of the individual achievements of men like Nikki Lauda and Vinny Pazienza, however, they are great none the less.
Anyway, let’s get cracking, again in no particular order…
Liverpool’s Istanbul Revival
We all remember 2005 and Liverpool’s miraculous comeback against a star-studded AC Milan side in the Champions League Final in Istanbul.
AC Milan were heavy favourites going into the game and lived up to their favourites tag early on when captain, Paolo Maldini scored inside the first minute. Hernan Crespo added two more goals before half-time to give the Italian giants a commanding 3-0 lead at the break.
Liverpool came out a different animal in the second half. Captain fantastic, Steven Gerrard got the ball rolling before Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso added two more goals to see the English outfit draw level inside six second-half minutes.
The game eventually went to penalty kicks where goalkeeper, Jerzy Dudek proved the hero of the hour as Liverpool won 3-2 and lifted their fifth European Cup.
The Miracle At Medinah
Widely regarded as the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history, the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ happened in 2012 as the European team led by José María Olazábal came back from a seemingly unassailable lead to capture their fifth Ryder Cup in six attempts.
The American’s dominated the opening three days and went into the final day of action 10-6 in front and needing just four points to secure victory.
Europe needed 8.5 points to somehow grab victory from the jaws of defeat and that’s exactly what they did winning eight and drawing one of the 12 singles matches.
Martin Kaymer’s five-foot putt on the 18th was the clincher for Europe as they retained the trophy with one match still in play. The miracle win was afterwards dedicated to Seve Ballesteros who had passed away a year prior. Ballesteros was a Ryder Cup legend and a close personal friend of captain, Olazábal.
The Curse Of The Bambino Comes To An End
In 2004 arch-rivals, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees met in the American League Championship Series with the winner set to go on and contest the World Series.
‘The Curse Of The Bambino‘ was a long-held superstition that went back to the Boston Red Sox last World Series win in 1918. At the time they were the most dominant team in Baseball winning the first ever World Series following by four more.
Their talisman Babe Ruth was then sold to the New York Yankees and as they say, the rest is history. The Yankees went on to become one of the biggest powerhouse franchises in all of sports while the Red Sox embarked on an 86-year winless streak.
They broke that streak in 2004 and what made their win all the better is that they beat their arch-rivals en route becoming the first team in Baseball history to come from 3-0 down to win a best of seven series 4-3.
A truly remarkable comeback.
“And Solskjaer Has Won It”
Manchester United were on the brink of an unprecedented treble back in 1999.
They had the Premier League title wrapped up and the FA Cup to boot, all that stood in their way was the Champions League.
German giants, Bayern Munich were the opposition and they took an early lead through Mario Basler. Bayern would go on to dominate the game before Alex Ferguson’s men executed a miraculous comeback in the dying seconds.
Teddy Sheringham scored in the 91st minute before current United manager, Solskjaer poked home in the 93rd to give them the most unlikeliest of victories.
Scoring late was a trademark of United’s season in 1999 and was a fitting way to secure the treble.
Brady Proves Patriots Greatness
Down 28-3 in the third quarter of Superbowl LI, there seemed to be no hope of a vintage Brady fourth-quarter comeback but the GOAT proved that we should never write off the GOAT on that fateful night in Houston, Texas.
The first quarter of the game surprisingly enough ended scoreless before the Atlanta Falcons completely blitzed Bill Belichick’s men in the second quarter to go in 21-3 in front at the half.
The Falcons would increase their lead to 25 points in the third before Brady lead the Patriots to a 19-0 fourth-quarter score and force overtime.
Brady led the Patriots to victory in overtime, thus securing his fifth Superbowl ring as well as the game’s MVP.