Monthly Archives: June 2013

June 30, 1984 – France won the UEFA European Football Championships

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It was the country’s first major international soccer tournament victory.

As the hosts of the tournament, France automatically qualified for the eight-team tournament. They would cruise through the Group Stage of the tournament, beating Denmark 1-0 in their opener, and following that up with a 5-0 victory over Belgium and a 3-2 win over Yugoslavia. That earned them top spot in Group A, setting up a semi-final match-up against Portugal.

With the game tied 1-1 after 90 minutes, extra time was needed, and it turned out to be quite the entertaining 30 minutes, as Portugal’s Rui Jordão opened the scoring in the 98th minute, before France answered with goals from Jean-Francois Domergue and Michel Platini to earn the thrilling 3-2 victory.

France faced Spain in the finals, and they would cruise to the 2-0 victory, thanks to goals from Platini and Bruno Bellone. Platini would easily take home top goalscorer honors, as his nine goals in the tournament set a UEFA European Football Championship record, which still stands to this day.

June 29, 1958 – Brazil defeated Sweden 5-2 in the World Cup

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Pelé, at age 17, scored a goal in the game.

The world first set eyes on Pelé in Sweden in 1958. He was just 17 when he played in his first FIFA World Cup, a slight teenager who emerged from nowhere to light up the tournament with his dazzling skills. It is often said that it was player power that earned Pele a place in the starting line-up for Brazil’s third match of the finals against the Soviet Union. He had been sidelined by a knee injury but on his return from the treatment room, his colleagues closed ranks and insisted upon his selection in attack alongside Vava.

The prodigy repaid his team-mates with the only goal against Wales in the quarter-finals – and in doing so established a record as the youngest scorer in FIFA World Cup history, aged 17 years and 239 days. Having found his range, he then struck a second-half hat-trick inside 23 minutes in Brazil’s 5-2 defeat of France in the semi-finals.

By now, Pele was unstoppable, allying perfect technique with lightning speed, intelligence and opportunism, and he rounded off his first FIFA World Cup with two splendid goals against Sweden in the Final. For the first, he had the audacity to pull off a sombrero, lifting the ball over the last defender before smashing the ball home on the volley. His second, in the final minute, was a looping header over the keeper. Sweden player Sigge Parling later confessed that “after the fifth goal, I felt like applauding.”

At the final whistle, Seleção keeper Gilmar had to console the boy wonder, who was carried off the field in tears on his team-mates’ shoulders. “I felt like I was living in a dream,” remembered Pele, and in many ways he was, a player set apart by his extraordinary talent. In the years that followed he only got better. He scored 127 goals in 1959, 110 in 1961, and inspired Santos to consecutive Copa Libertadores triumphs in 1962 and 1963; conquests which preceded back-to-back Intercontinental Cup successes.

June 28, 1997 – Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear in the third round of their heavyweight rematch

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The attack led to his disqualification from the match and suspension from boxing, and was the strangest chapter yet in the champion’s roller-coaster career.

Evander Holyfield had retired in 1994, but the prospect of a huge payday proved tempting, and on November 9, 1996, the underdog Holyfield shocked the boxing world by beating Mike Tyson in an 11th round TKO to win Tyson’s WBA title.

Holyfield came into the widely anticipated rematch on this day in 1997 even stronger than he had been for the first fight. In the first round, he hit Tyson hard with body shots while Tyson flailed away, ignoring the science of boxing his trainer had promised he would employ. By the end of the round, the crowd chanted Holyfield’s name, turning on the usual fan favorite Tyson. In the second round, Holyfield head-butted Tyson, opening a cut over Tyson’s right eye.

In the third round, Tyson lost what composure he had left. He spit out his mouthpiece, bit off a chunk out of Holyfield’s right ear and then spit it onto the canvas. Though Holyfield was in obvious pain the fight resumed after a brief stoppage, and then Tyson bit Holyfield’s other ear. With 10 seconds left in the third round, he was disqualified. His $30 million purse was withheld while Nevada boxing officials reviewed the fight.

#ThrowbackThursdays

A look back at some of the #1 NBA Draft picks of all time.

Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David ThompsonShaquille O’Neal, Blake Griffin, LeBron James, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Elvin Hayes, Allen Iverson, Elgin Baylor, David Robinson, Tim Duncan.