Let’s Look Back At some of the Biggest African Sporting Moments of 2017
As we wind down 2017, there’s no better time to look back and take a few minutes to review some of the best sporting moments that stood out on the continent in the last 12 months.
Despite the year being over whelmed by political instabilities in most regions, sports have remained a uniting factor continuously bringing us together no matter the differences.
In no order, Ducor Sports takes you on a journey through our best picks as we reminisce and try to relive the sporting moments that stood above the rest.
As always, feel free to comment or suggest your top sport moment via the comments below.
Cameroon defying the odds to win the African Cup of Nations.
With eight first choice and almost certain starters, as well as five other squad players opting not represent the country at the African Cup of Nations, it looked certain Cameroon was doomed even before they set off for Gabon.
Many started calling for FIFA to intervene but their coach Hugo Broos opted to leave them all out of the team for disrespecting the uniform. He re-built the team with young stars, taking with him 14 players that had never been to any big event for the championship in Gabon.
Focusing on team spirit, determination and hard work, the indomitable lions roared once again beating favorites Egypt 2-1 in the final to win the African Cup of Nations in front of their legends Samuel Eto’o and Roger Mila
The victory was lauded across the country’s boarders not only by the many that always root for the underdog but also the African football lovers who were tired of the apparent disrespect shown the continent’s greatest competition by those who ply their trade outside the continent. Cameroon will have a chance to defend their title at home after being confirmed as the hosts of the next edition.
Blitzboks Winning the 2016/17HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
After 10 gruesome tours, the Blitzboks came out on top to win the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series against formidable opponents like Figi, New Zealand, England and Australia.
The South African seven’s side managed to win an impressive five of 10 2016/17 tournaments to take the overall title ahead of England, and Fiji and with the Springboks struggling to find their feet, the win couldn’t have come at a better time.
The squad reached all ten Cup quarter-finals, won all eight semi-finals they were involved in, as well as five of the eight finals they contested in.
They went ahead to win the tournaments in Dubai, Wellington, Sydney, Las Vegas and Paris on their way to claim their second HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title.
The Blitzboks have once again kicked off the 2017/18 tournament in style, winning in Dubai before finishing third in Cape Town.
Wayde Van Niekerk winning Gold at the World Championships.
Wayde Van Niekerk this year became the first back-to-back world championship gold medalist winner since USA’s Jeremy Wariner. The South African Sweet heart continued where he stopped in Rio at the IAAF World Championships in London where he cruised to another 400m gold.
Wayde Van Niekerk will however miss next year’s Commonwealth Games after injuring himself while playing a celebrity tag rugby match a not-so-impressive moment that many have been saying might cut his career short.
Oscarine Masuluke’s Wonder Goal.
It would be a crime if Oscarine Masuluke’s wonder goal didn’t make our list. The Boroka goalie made headlines all over the world after scoring a wonder overhead kick in the South African Premier League in November.
Down 1-0 in extra time, with less than a minute on the clock, Masuluke’s side Boroka got a corner that was supposed to be the last play of the game. He rushed forward to join the attack not knowing that moment would change his life.
The corner was played into the box where Pirates goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane punched it away. It fell to Masuluke who had his back to the goal leaving him no option but to try an overhead bicycle kick.
He scored an outrageous overhead bicycle kick giving his side a late dramatic equalizer for Boroka who later survived relegation by a single point at the end of the season.
His goal was later nominated for FIFA Puskas goal of the Year where it made the final three.
Mohamed Salah Crowned BBC African Footballer of the year.
Muhamed Salah has continiously turned into a house hold name on the continent over the last 12 months. Since his transfer from AS Roma, the Egyptian winger has taken the Premier League by storm scoring 14 goals in his first 18 appearances.
The Liverpool winger won it for his performances in Roma last year that earned him a 42m transfer to Liverpool beating team-mate Saido Mane, and Nigeria’s Victor Moses.
Back home, the explosive winger has also been turned into a cult hero for expertly taking the penalty in the final minute against Congo in Alexandria that ensured a 2-1 win which sent Egypt through to its first World Cup since 1990. He was crucial in Egypt’s qualification campaign and will be their lead marksman as they head to Russia.
The Year of Goodbye’s.
It’s never been an easy sight-seeing a legend mostly one of a sport you love retire, but 2017 might by-far have the most legends leaving active sports.
Starting with Fomula 1, the world was shocked in November when Nico Rosberg opted to retire from the sport. To make matters worse, Fillipe Massa confirmed he would retire after the 2017 season which will leave a visible gap in the sport.
In Football, the world soccer said goodbye Chelsea legend Frank Lampard, Spanish Midfielder Xabi Alonso, Bayern Captain Phillip Lahm, Former Ballon Dor’ winner Ricardo Kaka, and Roma’s legend Francesco Totti.
In Basketball, the NBA had emotional send-offs for MVP’s Paul Pierce and Kobi Bryant while athletics will never be the same without the world’s fastest man Usian Bolt.
Nigeria shocking Argentina.
After qualifying for the World Cup unbeaten in their group, Nigeria decided to take on Argentina as a rehearsal for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Super Eagles were 2-0 down early in the first half but managed to keep their calm and pulled back to win the game 4-2. Nigeria who have been re-building their team around young talent announced themselves to the world in style and proved they are now ready for the big stage.
They were unlucky to be drawn against the same side in the World Cup Draw but are slight favorites progressing out of their tricky group alongside Messi’s Argentina.
NFL players taking a knee in protest.
With the bonus, we show our support for the NFL players that took a knee this year to highlight racial injustice and police brutality in America.
The Take a Knee movement was started by quarterback Colin Kaepernick 2016 but things took a further twist when President Trump publicly criticized former 49er for not standing for the national anthem.
The almost-coral reaction of solidarity from players, coaches and even staff around the country was immediate and fierce prompting the largest-scale anti-racism protests in the league.
Baseball professionals, basketball professionals have started joining the movement and here at Ducor Sports, we want to say we love you and are with you throughout the movement.
The Year of Real Madrid.
Real Madrid have re-defined world football in the last twelve months in every way. Without outrageous signings which has become a trend in current football, Zinadine Zidane’s side has continued their historic run winning the fifth title in this calender year.
To put the magnitude of this achievement into perspective, in Madrid’s glorious 115-year history, this is the Los Blanco’s first time winning 5 trophies in a single calendar year.
They made history becoming the first team to defend both the Club World Cup and the Champions League trophies on top of winning the Supercopa de Espana and UEFA Super Cup.
They will surely be remembered for a long time as one of the greatest squads ever put together.