October was a month that saw World Cup drama from rugby and cricket, the start of a new NBA season, and an array of fantastic sports highlights. Join us as we count down to the best moment of magic from this past month!
11. Sinner Overcomes Medvedev
We start with the China Open, where the final saw Jannik Sinner overcome longtime rival Daniil Medvedev. Sinner had lost his previous six matchups with Medvedev, adding a level of pressure to the day for the Italian. However, having beaten tennis’s latest star player, young Carlos Alcaraz, in the semi final, Sinner had the confidence to finally get one over on the player that had caused him so much difficulty. The game was hard fought, with a tiebreaker needed to hand Sinner the win. Check out the tense final points below!
10. Guiu’s Day of Dreams
There haven’t been many soccer players who have achieved such a dream-fulfilling debut, but for Barcelona’s Marc Guiu, his first game for the club he is a passionate supporter of could not have gone better. In their game against Athletic Bilbao, Barca found themselves unable to break the deadlock, with the score line tied 0-0. In the game’s 79th minute, Guiu was called down from the substitutes bench to make his debut and to try and change the game. Change the game he did, less than one minute later, as he found himself through on goal, slotting the ball past the keeper and becoming the youngest debut goal scorer for Barca at just 17 years old. Unbelievable!
9. Goalkeeping Giroud
It’s a situation that is rare, but grabs the attention of soccer fans everywhere whenever it happens—an outfield player being forced to go in goal. That exact situation fell upon AC Milan’s Olivier Giroud this past month in his team’s clash with Girona. Milan were leading the game 1-0 after a late goal from Christian Pulisic in the 87th minute. While all Milan wanted was to stabilize the game and make sure no equalizer was conceded, keeper Mike Magnan made this a little more difficult than they would have liked, getting sent off in the 9th minute of added time. With all their substitutions already made, Milan were forced to place striker Olivier Giroud in goal. Giroud stepped up to the challenge, spending the games’ last 5 minutes in goal. At one point, the Frenchman made a terrific save, sprinting out from his net to strike the ball out the path of the opposition striker! You might not expect such a stunning save worthy of sports highlights reels to come from a man who spends all his playing time up the other end of the pitch, but Giroud’s goalkeeping glory will be remembered by Milan fans for a long while. He was even nominated for their ‘Save of the Month’ for October! Watch the moment back below.
8. Elic Ayomanor’s Colossal Catch
One of the great college football games of recent memory happened this past month as Stanford faced off against Colorado. Colorado, with ex-NFL legend, Deion Sanders, as their head coach, have been the talk of college football as of late, and the opening of their game against Stanford showed why, as they found themselves up 29-0 at halftime. However, rather than cruising to victory, Colorado turned this into a historic collapse instead, as Stanford were able to fight their way back into the game. The game was a back and forth thriller, requiring two overtimes and going past midnight. The catch of the game came happened in overtime, as Elic Ayomanor was able to catch a touchdown directly on the head of his defender, carrying both the ball and his man into the end zone, and allowing his school to tie the game. This was part of a huge day for Ayomanor, who had a school record 294 receiving yards. That touchdown allowed Stanford to eventually go on and kick a game winning field goal, securing the biggest comeback win in school history! Take a look back at the catch that saved the game below.
7. Kane’s Cracking Strike
Harry Kane has found his feet very quickly in his new home at Bayern Munich. The striker’s goal scoring prowess has carried over seamlessly from the Premier League to the Bundesliga, and no game illustrates this more clearly than Munich’s recent match against SV Darmstadt. Kane not only scored a hat trick in this game, but walked away with a goal that will be replayed as one of the all time great sports highlights. Noticing the opposition keeper off his line, Kane struck the ball from within his own half to sail it over the keeper’s head and into the net. One of soccer’s all time great goals, and a true must-see moment!
6. Onside Kick Calamity
Back to college football now, where Kent State’s head coach is probably still regretting his decision on this play. In the opener of their game against Michigan State, Kent State decided to be as aggressive as possible from the first moment, by going for an onside kick and attempting to win the ball back to open the game. While this is a risky strategy, it has seen some success before, and would have been a great way to galvanize the team if it had come off. However, what instead unfolded will likely ensure that this play is never seen again from Kent State, as rather than recovering the ball, a Michigan State player was able to get a hand on it, scooping it up and scoring for a touchdown entirely gifted to them by that risky decision. Watch the play unfold for yourself below.
5. The NBA Returns
The return of the NBA has been long awaited since the moment the Denver Nuggets hoisted the trophy and the curtain came down on last season. Basketball fans everywhere can rejoice at the league’s return, which has already produced some notable sports highlights, including from the San Antonio Spurs’ matchup against the Phoenix Suns. In the fourth quarter, Phoenix led by 13 points and looked like they were en route to securing a victory. However, Victor Wembanyama, the number one pick in this year’s draft playing just his fourth game, carried his team back into the game, getting a put-back dunk to put the Spurs within one (114-113) with just 49 seconds to play. Then, with just 6 seconds on the clock, the Spurs were able to steal the ball back in dangerous territory, and score with a single second remaining, giving them the lead in the game for the first time and securing them an incredible comeback victory.
4. The Cricket World Cup
One of Sport’s great spectacles got underway this past month, as the Cricket World Cup began in India. For current trophy holders England, the tournament could not have got off to a worse start, as they end October bottom of qualifying and all but certain to go home. The peak of their woes came against hosts and favorites India, who put together a crushing 100 run win to leave England having lost 5 out of their last 6 games. It was a famous victory for the hosts, and a record-breaking performance for Mohammed Shami.
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3. Verstappen Victorious Once More
It seemed certain for a while, but October saw it confirmed: Max Verstappen has won his third F1 title, a three-peat. Verstappen’s victory was confirmed at the Qatar Grand Prix, prior to the race itself even taking place, as he instead secured the crucial points in the sprint race to set grid places that took place a day early. Verstappen’s three championships in three years has F1 fans believing the Dutchman’s era may be here to stay for quite a while longer. Check out the amazing footage of the master cutting around those corners!
2. Bellingham Beats Barca
Jude Bellingham’s October could not have gone much better. Other than his continuous goal scoring, being selected as winner of the Kopa Award at the Ballon D’or Ceremony (given to the best young player in the world for that year), his first El Clasico game had the eyes of the world on him thanks to his stellar performance within the biggest game in soccer. With Bellingham’s Real Madrid finding themselves 1-0 down to Barcelona after conceding in the 6th minute, a stunning long range Bellingham strike in the 68th minute tied the game for Madrid. As if Bellingham wasn’t already going to go down as a hero of the game, in the 92nd minute of the game, right at the death, Bellingham popped up for a game winning goal, breaking Barca hearts and sending Madrid fans into pandemonium. A pair of goals that we will surely see in sports highlights reels for years to come, and a trademark celebration we should all get used to seeing.
1. South Africa’s Rugby World Cup Triumph
South Africa became the most successful nation in Rugby World Cup history this past month, claiming their fourth Webb-Ellis Cup after beating New Zealand in the final. The Springboks entered the tournament as holders, having won the last edition in 2019, and left victorious once more. The deciding game was a tense affair, with New Zealand captain Sam Cane receiving the first ever red card in a Rugby World Cup final. The 10-man All Blacks then rallied together, putting together a spirited performance to come within one point of South Africa. Ultimately, a comeback was not possible, with the game ending 12-11 to South Africa, with scenes of utter jubilation seen from fans of their nation. Take a look back at the final play, as well as the celebrations that followed. Congratulations to South Africa!
Bonus – Murray’s Career Change?
Tennis legend Andy Murray might’ve chosen the wrong profession within the world of tennis, as this month’s bonus moment suggests…
If you enjoyed October’s round up, be sure to check out September’s edition!