Most Dramatic Moments of the Week
The final week in this three-monthlong installment of articles could not have ended any better. The World Cup has been one of the best of all time and spearheaded a phenomenal week in sports.
The group stages of the World Cup came to a close with more than a few surprising, dramatic endings—and results. There was also some great MLB action, and a college baseball champion was crowned as well.
Let's take one more look back at the most dramatic moments in sports from the past week.
Greece Convert PK in Stoppage Time to Advance
Speaking of heart-breaking finishes, this one might just take the cake. The game between Ivory Coast and Greece was simple: If Greece won, it advanced.
All Ivory Coast needed was a draw (or a win), and it seemed like it had it in the bag with the score tied up at 1-1 heading into stoppage time.
Giovanni Sio, who had been subbed into the game just minutes earlier, converted an inadvertent but clear error that ended up costing his squad the chance to move on. He fouled Georgios Samaras in the box, giving Greece a penalty kick.
Samaras banged in the kick with ease, and Ivory Coast was left devastated while Greece celebrated the 2-1 victory.
Lincecum Throws Second Career No-Hitter
Almost exactly one year ago, Tim Lincecum threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres. This past Tuesday, Lincecum threw yet another no-hitter against San Diego.
Lincecum was incredibly efficient in the 4-0 victory. Even though he only struck out six hitters, he walked just one and threw 113 pitches.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner had been having just a mediocre season before his historic performance (5-5, 4.90 ERA up to that point), and perhaps it can give him added confidence as the dog days of summer begin.
Italy Fails to Advance, Suarez Bites Someone Again
Italy came into the World Cup with high expectations—the same as it does every year. And its club seemed strong enough to at least advance out of the group stage, if not make a serious run.
But after soundly beating England 2-1 the week prior, Italy had a major letdown game against Costa Rica, losing 1-0 and forcing itself into a tough situation.
It needed a win or a draw against a talented Uruguay team to advance, and Italy just couldn't find any offense to overcome Luis Suarez and company.
Speaking of Suarez, who scored the game's only goal—he bit someone again! This is now the third time that he has clearly bitten an opponent on the field. FIFA is launching an investigation, and it's plausible that Suarez could be booted from the tournament.
America Has Heart Broken by Portugal
The U.S. had it. It was there. It was going to win the game and advance. Until, it didn't.
The U.S. men's national soccer team fought courageously to come back after conceding an early goal to Portugal. Jermaine Jones had one of the best shots you'll ever see to tie it up, and Clint Dempsey finished off a nice play to get the U.S. ahead.
For a large chunk of the game, Jurgen Klinsmann's squad controlled the game, and it looked solid throughout stoppage time.
But then one brutal turnover near midfield led to Cristiano Ronaldo finding space along the right wing, and he played in an absolutely perfect cross that was finished by Silvestre Varela to tie the game 2-2 just before the whistle blew.
For as great a performance (and as solid of a result) as it was, America had its collective heart ripped out by that last-second equalizer.
USMNT Escapes Group of Death
Somehow, some way, the United States advanced by the skin of its teeth out of the group of death after losing to Germany 1-0.
Portugal did its part by defeating Ghana 2-1, meaning that the U.S. and Portugal had the same record (1-1-1). The U.S. had the advantage by goal differential (plus-three), thanks to Portugal's brutal 4-0 loss to Germany.
While Germany clearly outclassed the Americans for the entire game, Dempsey and Alejandro Bedoya both had phenomenal chances to tie it up in stoppage time.
Neither chance was converted, but it didn't matter as the U.S. didn't need a goal to advance. The USMNT now faces Belgium on Tuesday.
Messi Dominates as Argentina Advances
In two separate games this week, Lionel Messi proved why he is the greatest athlete alive right now in the entire world.
With Argentina struggling against Iran on Saturday, it seemed like only some magic by Messi would get his squad the win it sorely needed. And he provided just that, swerving home a goal in stoppage time that gave Argentina a 1-0 win.
They were guaranteed to advance before their final game against Nigeria, but a loss would have pushed them to second place—and they undoubtedly wanted the top seed. Messi took care of that with two brilliant goals, putting his team on his back yet again.
Vanderbilt Holds on to Win CWS
It was only fitting that a spectacular postseason ended with a great final series between Vanderbilt and Virginia, who split the first two games of the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, to force a grudge match to decide the champion.
Vanderbilt, which faced elimination three times throughout the tournament, was resilient as ever against an extremely talented UVA squad.
With the score tied at 2-2 in the eighth inning, Vandy's John Norwood hit a bomb that put his team up by one, a lead which it would hold on to. It was Vanderbilt's championship.
Wild Match Between Germany and Ghana
The first half of the World Cup contest between Germany and Ghana was relatively uneventful, despite each squad playing fairly well.
Then the second half began, and the fireworks started. Deadspin has each of the goals at this link here, but basically the two sides started scoring at will.
Germany started things off with an ugly header from Mario Gotze, followed by two quick scores by Ghana. But then Miroslav Klose (remember him?) tied things up with a nice finish off a corner kick.
When it was all said and done, four goals had been scored in roughly 20 minutes, and the final score would remain 2-2.
Wiggins and Parker Taken 1-2 in NBA Draft
There was so much talk before the NBA draft about how the top two picks would shake out. But in the end, the safe routes were taken.
The Cleveland Cavaliers made the smart move by taking Andrew Wiggins with the first overall pick. The Milwaukee Bucks then took Jabari Parker at No. 2.
The two freshmen were the biggest prospects coming out of high school, they both had good seasons for Kansas and Duke, respectively, and it's only right that they were selected with the first two picks in this draft.
It's safe to say their greatness will be compared for a long time.
Embiid Selected by Sixers
Cameroon native Joel Embiid ended up becoming the biggest story of the 2014 NBA draft after he had surgery on his foot a mere week prior to the event.
ESPN's Chad Ford (subscription required) pointed out that there were conflicting reports about Embiid's health prior to his surgery. The massively talented 7-footer could have been the first overall pick, but a huge debate ensued about weighing the risks of taking an injury-prone big man.
In the end, it turned out that the Philadelphia 76ers decided the potential reward outweighed the risk, because they used the third overall pick to take the former Kansas big man.