Greatest Winning Moments of All Time

Peter Owen@@Peter_Owen1Correspondent IINovember 15, 2011

Greatest Winning Moments of All Time

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    There's nothing quite like the feeling of watching your team sink the game-winning shot, score a last-minute winner or clinch a victory against the odds.

    Every sport has its selection of memorable winning moments. From Michael Jordan's last shot as a Bull (above) to Manchester United winning a record 19th league title, sport never fails to give us moments that live long in the memory of every person to witness it.

1. Tiger Woods Wins After Father's Death

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    In May 2006, Tiger was robbed of his No. 1 inspiration, his father Earl. The loss cut Woods deep, causing him to take a nine-week break from the sport to be with his family.

    On his return, he failed to make the cut at that year's US Open, but once the British Open rolled around, Tiger was back to his dominant best, winning by a distance after carding minus-18 for the tournament, just one shy of his all-time record.

    His win at Hoylake will go down as one of the sport's most emotional moments. An overwhelmed Tiger dedicated his win to his late father.

2. "Havlicek Stole the Ball!"

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    The Boston Celtics of the 1960s were the definition of dynasty, winning the title in every year except 1967. That is a team.

    Their 1965 Eastern Conference Finals series was against Wilt Chamberlain's Philadelphia 76ers. Wilt was the premier player of his generation, but never quite delivered in the playoffs.

    With five seconds of the deciding Game 7 to play, Hal Greer had the ball to inbound on the sidelines for Philly, but rather than toss it to Chamberlain in the post, who was perfectly defended by Bill Russell, he had to look for another option.

    Spotting Chet Walker free, Greer attempted to pass to him, only for Boston's John Havlicek to pounce, stealing the ball and sealing the Celtics' return to the Finals.

3. Usain Bolt Runs 9.58s 100m

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    This really was an incredible moment in sports history. Usain Bolt had already astonished the world by smashing the 100m world record at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    However, at the 2009 World Championships, Bolt decided to best himself, utterly demolishing his previous record to set a mark that could stand for decades.

    I'll let the video do the rest of the talking.

4. Tom Brady and Adam Vinatieri Win Super Bowl XXXVI

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    On the biggest stage in sports, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady showed the world just how good he was, delivering a series of passes that set up Adam Vinatieri's Bowl-clinching field goal as the game clock expired.

    Brady's performance on this play alone is worthy to get him on the list, let alone the incredible nerve it took for Vinatieri to deliver the biggest kick of his career.

5. Michael Jordan's Final Shot

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    With one final play, Michael Jordan bowed out of the NBA with a win suitable of his legacy. (I don't count his return for Washington.)

    The Chicago Bulls, winner of five of the last seven NBA titles, were battling away in Game 6 of the Finals against the John Stockton and Karl Malone-led Utah Jazz.

    Down by a point, 34 seconds left, the Jazz had possession. Jordan had other ideas, stripping the ball from Stockton before leaving us all with one final memory.

6. Manchester United Score Twice in 90 Seconds, Win the Champions League

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    As a Manchester United fan, this is by far the most memorable moment in club history.

    United had already captured the 1998-99 Premier League and FA Cup trophies and were facing Bayern Munich in the final of the Champions League to clinch a historic treble.

    After six minutes, Bayern were ahead. The night looked set to end in failure for United until Sheringham slotted home from six yards after 90 minutes to equalize and keep the dream alive.

    Then, the goal that sent Red Devils' fans into ecstasy. David Beckham swung in a corner kick. The ball, knocked across goal, was met by the outstretched leg of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and ended up in the back of the Munich net.

    Cue delirium after a remarkable comeback that led to legendary United manager Sir Alex Ferguson uttering a now famous phrase.

    "Football, bloody hell."

7. Immaculate Reception: Steelers Win

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    The Pittsburgh Steelers hadn't won their AFC division for 40 long years.

    In 1972, they faced off against the Oakland Raiders and found themselves trailing 7-6 with less than 10 seconds to play.

    Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw ducked and dodged the defense before delivering a pass towards halfback John Fuqua. The ball was never caught by him, as Raiders defender Jack Tatum collided with Fuqua, and the ball arced through the air.

    Steelers fullback Franco Harris had made a run forward to help block for Fuqua, but found himself in prime position to collect the ball inches before it touched the ground, sprinting away from the Raiders defenders and scoring a touchdown that triggered pandemonium at Three Rivers Stadium.

    That would be the Steelers' last win of the season; they were defeated 21-17 by the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Championship game. Meanwhile, the Dolphins were on their way to a legendary undefeated season.

8. Scotland's James McFadden Downs France

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    France, fresh off their 2006 World Cup Final loss to Italy, were heavily favoured to beat the plucky Scottish team in this 2008 European Championship qualifying match.

    Scotland, drawn into a "group of death" with both France and Italy alongside World Cup quarterfinalists Ukraine, were given no chance of progression.

    Instead, they won their first three games, including an unlikely victory against the French in Glasgow.

    A few months later, Scotland traveled to Paris to play the French again. Scotland's last victory in France came in 1950, some 57 years before this game took place.

    Nobody gave them a chance, and everyone expected nothing short of a rout by the French team. How wrong they were.

    Scotland hung on and defended well, before one piece of extraordinary genius from James McFadden gave Scottish fans a goal that will go down in history.

9. The St Louis Cardinals Win the 2011 World Series

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    If you looked up "outsider" in the dictionary, the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals would be right there.

    Sitting 10.5 games back from the wild card slot in the National League with 30 games to play, their chances of making the playoffs stood at 1.3 percent.

    Their September comeback will go down in MLB history as one of the all-time greats. They made it to the playoffs, continually upsetting teams along the way.

    They reached the World Series against the Texas Rangers and won in seven remarkable games, emphasized by the season-defining Game 6, in which the Cardinals were twice one strike away from elimination before winning it in extra innings.

    The video above sums up the reaction of St. Louis.

10. England Win the 2003 Rugby World Cup

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    The 2003 World Cup Final was an astonishing affair. Australia and England battled it out for 80 minutes of regulation time to no avail.

    The teams headed into extra time, a very rare occurrence in rugby.

    With the game tied 17-17, the two sides were struggling to find the breakthrough to take a decisive lead.

    That was until England finally crossed the line courtesy of national talisman Johnny Wilkinson, whose drop goal in the 100th minute of the game secured England's first-ever World Cup success.

    No game of rugby will ever come close to matching the drama witnessed that day in Sydney. 

Just Missed Out: Lewis Hamilton Wins F1 World Title at Last Corner of Last Race

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    The 2008 Formula One season provided the greatest finale the sport has witnessed.

    McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Felipe Massa fought all year long for the Drivers' Championship, but were still at it heading into the final race of the season in Brazil.

    Hamilton needed to finish fifth (or better) to clinch the title in just his second year in the sport.

    A few laps from the end of the race, the rain started to fall, and the drivers had to choose between risking a crash on dry-weather tires or changing to wet-weather tires.

    Felipe Massa crossed the line first, meaning Hamilton had to finish fifth. Going into the final lap, Hamilton was overtaken and dropped to sixth, below the position he needed to win the title.

    Massa and Hamilton had both pitted for tires, allowing Timo Glock's Toyota to move into fourth after he braved the dry tires on a track fast getting slippy.

    Hamilton fought and fought to get past fifth place Sebastian Vettel, but couldn't get past. Then, at the final corner of the final lap of the race, Hamilton and Vettel drove past Glock's struggling Toyota, promoting Hamilton back into fifth and delivering him the world championship in unbelievable fashion.

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