Most Dramatic Moments of the Week
The past week in sports has been one of the best in a long time. In the US, two champions were named. Meanwhile, the world was fixated on some games down in Brazil.
The combination of the end of the NBA and NHL seasons and the start of the World Cup really made the past seven days memorable.
Here are the ten most dramatic moments in sports from the past week.
Switzerland Wins in Stoppage Time
Switzerland's match against Ecuador was relatively innocuous for the first 90 minutes of play, as both teams traded chances and neither really dominated possession for any stretch.
For the Swiss, however, things were pretty dire. They were favored to both win the game and to advance, and they started playing more urgently as the game went on.
Things really opened up in the last couple minutes of the game, as both teams pressed for that winning goal. Ecuador got a great chance at one end, but then found themselves way out of position and Switzerland counter-attacked hard.
With just seconds remaining before the final whistle, Haris Seferovic took a cross and redirected into the net, breaking Ecuador's heart and giving his own squad a much needed win.
Ivory Coast Scores Two Quick Goals for Win
Japan and Ivory Coast play very different styles of soccer. They were pretty evenly matched on Saturday, and they both played a great game.
Japan broke through early, with a nice goal by Keisuke Honda in the 16th minute. They were able to hold off Les Elephants for awhile.
But then Drogba came in. And changed everything.
While he didn't score either of the two goals, Drogba's presence obviously made a difference. He was subbed in at 62', Ivory Coast tied it up at 64' and then Gervinho scored on a header to put them ahead at 66'.
It was a whirlwind five minutes or so, but in the end Japan just didn't have enough to prevent a loss.
Kings Win Cup in Overtime
The Los Angeles Kings were the best team in the NHL throughout the postseason. They disposed of the Blues, Sharks and Blackhawks en route to the Stanley Cup.
They came up against a scrappy New York Rangers team that fought with them for a little but just could not keep up with the Kings in the end.
In fitting fashion, it took not one but two overtimes for the Kings to finally bring the Stanley Cup back to Los Angeles. The Kings badly outshot the Rangers, but Henrik Lundqvist was able to keep his team alive yet again.
Finally, Alec Martinez was able to put home a rebound with 5:17 remaining in the second overtime frame, giving the Kings their second Cup in the past three years. Justin Williams brought home the Conn Smythe as the MVP of the playoffs.
USMNT Wins in Dramatic Fashion
The United States' World Cup bid got off to a heck of a start when Clint Dempsey took the ball outside of the box, made a quick move to get in and scored just 30 seconds into the game.
Things began to unravel a bit after that as Ghana slowly overtook the U.S. and controlled play. In the second half, they got a number of chances and finally put a header in at 82', effectively crushing the U.S.'s hope for a win.
But then only a few minutes later, the U.S. got a corner kick and 21-year-old John Brooks, who had come into the match as a substitute, got his head on the ball and put it in the back of the net.
The team, subs, coaches and entire stadium erupted. The reaction back home was even cooler, as tons of different cities reacted to the game-winning goal.
Altidore Goes Down
The major downside to the U.S.'s thrilling victory over Ghana was the loss of striker Jozy Altidore, who had to be taken out of the game in the 23rd minute.
While running for a ball down the sideline, he suddenly pulled up. Grabbing his left hamstring, it was clear that he was in distress.
The country waited for days to hear of Altidore's status, with evaluations occurring on Tuesday. The team has been suspiciously quiet about the injury, although news began to leak on Thursday that he will not play against Portugal on Sunday (via Dan Wetzel).
Kershaw Throws No-Hitter
Already one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball, Clayton Kershaw significantly added to his resume on Wednesday night by throwing a no-hitter.
The Dodgers were dominant on offense anyway, and they won the game easily 8-0.
Kershaw's phenomenal stuff was obviously the main focus of the game.
He struck out a career-best 15 hitters, the third most in a no-hitter after two of Nolan Ryan's no-nos. In addition, he did not walk a single batter. Only an error by Hanley Ramirez prevented Kershaw from achieving a perfect game.
Mexico Fight for Draw vs. Brazil
Coming into their match against Mexico on Tuesday, Brazil had to be feeling some pressure. They won somewhat unconvincingly against Croatia in their first match, and were solidly favored in this contest.
But Mexico clamped down. They provided fans with one of the most dramatic games of the tournament so far, holding the host team to a 0-0 draw.
Mexico keeper Guillermo Ochoa was simply spectacular all game. It was a fast-paced, back-and-forth, all-around crazy battle that was a thrill to watch, but Ochoa's saves were really the highlight of the match.
Patent Office Cancels 'Redskins' Trademark
Per ESPN, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ruled in favor of canceling the trademark for the Washington Redskins' logo on Wednesday.
This landmark ruling is a devastating blow to owner Dan Snyder's bid to keep the logo the same, despite many protests due to its offensive nature to Native Americans.
"Petitioners have found a preponderance of evidence that a substantial amount of Native Americans found the term Redskins to be disparaging when used in connection with professional football," the ruling, which was 2-1 in favor of cancellation, claimed.
It can only be seen as one big step towards the eventual changing of Washington's mascot and logo, which seems to be inevitable at this point.
Spain Eliminated from World Cup
After just two games, Spain has been eliminated from the 2014 World Cup. The defending World Cup Champions also won the two most recent UEFO European Championships, in 2008 and 2012, and have been relatively untouchable in competitive games over the past six years.
They suffered an embarrassing 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands in the opener, but the consensus was that this talented and experienced team would bounce back against Chile.
On Wednesday, though, that "experience" just looked more like "age", and Chile matched up with Spain everywhere on the pitch.
The result was a 2-0 shutout that really only saw Spain have one or two good chances throughout the entire match. In one of the most disappointing letdowns in World Cup history, Spain's hopes for a repeat were dashed before their final group stage match.
Spurs Blow Away Heat to Win Championship
The drama in the NBA Finals was somewhat different than it was in the Stanley Cup. Instead of crazy back-and-forth action and overtime thrillers, the San Antonio Spurs went an easier route.
Their incredible dismantling of the Miami Heat was dramatic in of itself because of how shocking it was. Here was an aging team that everyone always forgets about, and they were absolutely destroying LeBron James and the Heat.
The series was tied 1-1 heading back to Miami, and the Spurs just turned things up and put on an offensive clinic, winning both games easily on the road.
Then Gregg Popovich and his team came back home and put an exclamation point on their season. With a dominant 104-87 win, the Spurs were rightfully named the champions yet again.
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