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Tales of the Underdog. Top 5 Sporting Comebacks of All Time

Everyone loves a sporting underdog, unless you are supporting the favourites, but what are the ones that stick in the memory? We take a look at 5 of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time!
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Golf: Europe in the 2012 Ryder Cup
The final day of the Medinah (Illinois, U.S.A) 2012 Ryder Cup saw Europe 10-6 down to the USA. Having gone 5-3 up on the Friday, then increasing that lead to 10-6 on the Saturday, the USA were in total control. What happened on the Sunday was a minor miracle: out of the final 12 games,  the European team won 8, lost 3 and drew 1, to claim a staggering 14 ½ 13 ½ win. This Ryder Cup has gone down in history as one of the greatest and possibly the most dramatic of all time.

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Cricket: England v Australia - ‘Botham’s’ Ashes, 1981 at Headingley
England were 1-0 down in the 51st Ashes Series after two tests played, but went on to win the next 3 tests to claim an unlikely 3-1 victory. Two of the tests were drawn in the series which helped England’s cause to retain the Ashes against Australia. Ian Botham was regarded as the catalyst for the victory in the third test due to his incredible batting display and clinical bowling. In Headingley, Botham prevented England going 2-0 down after 3 tests played which would have pretty much signalled the end of the contest. Other comebacks have come close in the world of cricket, but the occasion of an Ashes comeback is too significant to ignore.

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Football: Liverpool v AC Milan – 2005 Champions League Final
Three goals in quick succession saw Liverpool overturn a 3-0 half-time lead to AC Milan. Milan had taken the lead with goals from Maldini and two from Crespo, but Liverpool levelled the match in the second half, with goals from Gerrard, Smicer and Alonso – all in the space of six minutes. With extra-time seen through with no goals, the match reached the dramatic penalty shootout.  Liverpool won the shootout 3-2 and Jerzy Dudek proved to be a hero as he saved several penalties completing the remarkable comeback. This final, in Istanbul, is remembered by fans all over the world and the drama is unlikely to be recaptured.

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Snooker: Stephen Hendry v Jimmy White – 1992 World Championship Final
Jimmy White was looking to get his first World Championship win, having been the nearly-man so many times. The stage was set in The Crucible, Sheffield for a momentous victory as White had a 14-8 lead after the first session. However,  Hendry won 10 straight frames in the evening session  to win 18-14 and deny Jimmy White his sought after championship win. This turnaround from Hendry has been dubbed as one of the great comebacks in Snooker history and White remains the ‘people’s champion’, with no world championship wins to date.

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Tennis: Henri Cochet v Bill Tilden, 1927 Wimbledon Semi-Final
Bill Tilden was considered the best tennis player of all time in that era, so it was no surprise he was expected to brush aside Henri Cochet and reach the 1927 Wimbledon final. Tilden took a comfortable 2 set lead and led 5-1 in the third set and this was seen as business as usual for the American. What happened next shocked the tennis world! Cochet clawed back the third set 7-5 and won the next two sets 6-4 and 6-3, thus reaching the Wimbledon final. As if this wasn’t enough,  the Frenchman went on to win in the final, having again come back from 2 sets down.


What are your favourite sporting comebacks and success stories? Let us know in the comments!