Australian Open, AFC Asian Cup finals and Superbowl: a memorable weekend of great sport

Player of the tournament and new Socceroo hero Massimo Luongo  Photo:Nasya Bahfen

Player of the tournament and new Socceroo hero Massimo Luongo Photo:Nasya Bahfen

The AFC Asian Cup Finals, the Australian Open and the Superbowl have delivered four epic finishes within three days as entertaining as anyone could have wanted. It was a fantastic quadruple of major sporting triumphs that will live long in the memory of many sports fans.

Perhaps the biggest of them all was the Socceroos famous victory at a sold-out Stadium Australia on Saturday night against the Korean Republic. After a 45th minute goal by Australia’s Massimo Luongo, victory seemed certain but 2 minutes into injury time saw the Koreans equalise in dramatic fashion that broke Australian hearts, sending the game into extra time.

But the Socceroos were not to be outdone as they galvanised and dominated right from the outset. The pressure was too much for Korea and relented as James Troisi’s 105th minute goal sent the country into raptures. It was enough to give Australia their first piece of silverware in what is hopefully only the beginning of a new golden generation of football.

On the same night, the Australian Open women’s final in Melbourne saw a second set tie break leave the game in the balance. Americans Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova fought it out in a tough encounter with a tied 6-6 second set following a 6-3 first set win by Williams. With the tie break score at 6-5 to Williams, she finished off the match with an ace. Her undefeated streak against Sharapova has lasted since 2004, and that win brings her tally of major trophies to 19.

Not to be outdone, the men put on a show of their own on Sunday, but this time Serbian Novak Djokovic made it an emphatic finish of a different kind against Scot Andy Murray. After 7-6 wins to each of them in the first two sets, Djokovic took the third 6-3 in what was an even contest up until that stage. But the world number one dominated proceedings beyond anyone’s expectations in the fourth. Djokovic made it 6-0 in an emphatic display of discipline that left everyone awestruck. That win now brings Djokovic’s tally to a record 5 Australian Open titles.

Monday saw Superbowl 49 between New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks produce one of the most incredible endings to a Superbowl ever. With 2 minutes remaining and a 28-24 lead to the Patriots a long pass that was just shy of touchdown territory,  Seahawks Jermaine Kearse made a miracle catch despite the fact he fell down on his back and then made a triple juggle.

In what seemed like an easy opportunity to score and win from a few yards out, the Patriots Malcolm Butler pulled off a stunning interception as he plucked the ball away from what was a certain game winning touchdown for the Seahawks. It was one of the most classic finishes ever seen. That now makes it an even record of 4 Superbowl wins for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

It’s highly doubtful that sports fans will again get to see three days of back to back major sports finals culminating in whirlwind finishes that take your breath away, but one can hope.

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