September saw two leagues get back into the swing of things, as the Champions League and NFL seasons got underway. With some stellar moments from those two leagues and more, join us as we countdown the best sports highlights from the past month.
11. Basketball World Cup Concludes
We’re kicking off with basketball as the 2023 FIBA World Cup concluded, and a new victor crowned. After their surprise win against the USA in the tournament’s semi-final, Germany defeated Serbia 83-77 to claim their first ever Basketball World Cup! Tournament MVP Dennis Schröder played a major part in the final game, scoring 28 points on the night. Many thought the Serbians would brush aside the Germans, with this being their first ever appearance in a FIBA World Cup Final, compared to the Serbians’ record of two World Cup wins and four total finals appearances. Ultimately, it was the new challengers who proved too good to stop on a night that German basketball fans will remember for a long time to come. Watch the best of the final here!
10. No-Nonsense Newcastle
Newcastle have had fortune smile upon them in recent times, securing their first top four finish last season and returning to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years. Their recent game in the Premier League against Sheffield United showed they are still not a side to be messed with, as they demolished the Blades 8-0 away from home. To make the win all the more impressive, the eight goals were scored by eight different players—a true team victory!
9. The Champions are Back
Europe’s premier soccer competition returned this past month, as the Champions League commenced its first round of games for the new season. There were plenty of stories to be followed in the opening week, from the return of English sides Arsenal and Newcastle after respective 7 and 20 year absences from the competition, as well as plenty of eyes being on Munich and Harry Kane as he faced off against a familiar opponent in Manchester United. However, it was Italian side Lazio who produced by far the most dramatic moment of the first week. In the 95th minute of their game against Atletico Madrid, Lazio found themselves 1-0 down. After winning a corner late on, keeper Ivan Provedel decided to make his way into the opposition penalty box to try and help with leveling the score, knowing this would be the last kick of the game. Unbelievably, the ball did indeed fall to Provedel, who tucked the ball away with a brilliant header! The unlikely goal scorer secured Lazio the tie on the night, as well as his place in sports highlights reels for years to come. What a moment!
8. The NFL Gets Underway
The NFL season finally kicked-off in September, with fans everywhere thrilled to see football back on their screens. There were plenty of great matchups scheduled for week one, but none more hyped than the Bills vs. the Jets. With their new QB, ex-MVP and Super Bowl Champion, Aaron Rodgers, Jets fans were feeling hopeful that this season might be their year, having not won a Super Bowl since 1969. Ultimately, the narrative changed almost instantly after the start of the first game. On his fourth play for the team, Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon, an injury that would end his season almost before it had even begun. For Jets fans, a sense of despair swept through the stadium, as much of their hopes for the season were on Rodgers shoulders. However, there was still magic to come on the night, as the Jets players put together a stunning performance to keep themselves in the game with their longtime foes. First, a stunning one handed grab from receiver Garett Wilson in the fourth quarter, a catch that could already be the best of the season, helped level the score for the Jets. After both teams failed to secure the win in regular time, the game went to overtime, where rookie returner, Xavier Gipson, had a 65-yard walk-off punt return that secured the Jets a win in their opening game! How about that for drama?!
7. Novak’s US Victory
A man who has appeared in so many of these sports highlights round ups due to his stunning play, September was no different for Novak Djokovic. After his last Grand Slam appearance ended in defeat to the up-and-coming Carlos Alcaraz, eyes were back on Djokovic to see whether he would be able to bounce back at the US Open. Of course, Djokovic swept past challenger after challenger, setting up a final against Daniil Medvedev. In the final, Djokovic had to pull out all the stops to secure victory, especially in the match’s second set which lasted close to two hours and had to be decided by a tie breaker! The Serbian eventually secured the set, as well as the match itself, getting his hands on his record 24th Grand Slam win. Take a look at one of the best points won by Djokovic, as well as the final moments from a grueling game below.
6. Rugby World Cup Kicks Off
The 2023 Rugby World Cup has begun, and there have been some fantastic matchups so far, one being the game between Wales and Fiji. While the two nations may not be the biggest on the world stage, they both treasure rugby as their national sport, outperforming many other countries. The early stages pitted the nations against each other, where a hard fought game ensued. After a competitive opening to the game, Wales led in it’s final seconds. A last gasp chance opened up for Fiji in the games final seconds, and for a moment it looked like an incredible piece of play would be produced to keep the game going, but ultimately Fiji came up just short, giving Wales the win in one of the best matches seen at the tournament thus far!
5. Ryder Cup Returns
One of the most looked-forward to moments on the golfing calendar, the Ryder Cup, has returned for it’s 2023 edition. The tournament, which sees team Europe faceoff against team USA, takes place every two years. The US won the last edition and will be keen to retain the trophy, although with the tournament taking place in Rome for the first ever time, Europe had a definitive homefield advantage. There were some magic and stunning highlights produced from the tournament’s first days—just check out this under-pressure putt from Justin Rose at the end of day one, as well as as near hole-in-one from Europe’s Jon Rahm!
4. Solheim Cup Complete
The women’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup, was also held this past month in Spain. Team Europe went into the competition as reigning champions, aiming to retain their title. After a week of close play, the tournament ultimately ended with a score of 14-14. With a tie, and the rules stating that the trophy is awarded to the previous winners, team Europe walked away victorious once more! Take a look at this hole-in-one from Europe’s Emily Pedersen, only the second ever in Solheim Cup history, as well as the moment Europe retained the trophy!
3. Dolphins Dominate
Back to the NFL now, where one of the most resounding wins in the history of the sports was seen in week three. In the game between the Miami Dolphins and the Denver Broncos, Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa, alongside his all-star cast consisting of WR Tyreek Hill and RB Raheem Mostert, put together a performance that will go down as one the greatest in NFL history, beating the Broncos 70-20. Tua threw for over 300 yards, 4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and received a QB rating of 155.8. Rookie RB Devon Achane also had a breakout game, as he and the veteran Mostert scored four touchdowns each to add to Miami’s delight. The Dolphins were only two points shy of the all-time NFL scoring record and could have gone for a field goal to set the all-time record, but head coach, Mike McDaniel, elected to kneel and end the game, stating that he was focused on sportsmanship and preferred not to add further embarrassment to the Broncos woes. With so many sports highlights to choose from, take a look back at some of the best bits from a memorable game.
2. Sainz in Singapore!
The streak is finally over! For the first time in ten F1 Grand Prixes, Max Verstappen did not walk away as winner. In the Singapore Grand Prix, it was Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz who secured first place, his second-ever race victory in F1! The race itself was a dramatic affair. Verstappen found himself out of contention, finishing fifth after a poor qualifying performance, and so a tense battle unfolded for the remaining podium places, particularly between Mercedes’ George Russell and McLaren’s Lando Norris for 2nd place. The competition went all the way down to the wire, and just as it looked as if Russell may overtake on the final lap, he sadly crashed, ending his race entirely. Watch back the frantic final stages below!
1. Lovely from Liechtenstein
And we’ve finally landed at the number one spot, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Liechtenstein’s Sandro Wolfinger may not be a name you have heard of before, but he scored a goal this past month that you will soon certainly remember. In the qualifying stages for the European Championships in 2024, Liechtenstein faced off against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Finding themselves 2-0 down in the game’s 21st minute, Wolfinger put it on his own shoulders to get his nation back in the game. Arriving at the edge of the box after a corner, Wolfinger struck a stellar volley, seeing the ball sail into the net! A goal with potential to be included as one of the best of the year, take a look for yourself below.
Bonus – Keeper’s Conundrum
Check out this bizarre piece of goalkeeping that led to a goal for the Ajax Women’s side! We’ve never seen anything quite like it.
If you enjoyed September’s sports highlights roundup, be sure to check out August’s edition!