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Having finished behind Madrid in the group, with the final group match being a well-earned draw in the Spanish capital, Porto were destined to face one of the other group winners in the first knockout round, and were given one of the toughest draws possible: a match-up against Manchester United. Fortune almost turned provider a few minutes later, with his cross expertly picking out Ruud van Nistelrooy who surprisingly could not bring the ball under his spell and the chance was lost. Had the Dutch striker found the back of the net, the whole tie, and recent European football history, may well have turned out differently.

As it ultimately turned out, Mourinho proved his reputation as a meticulous planner having targeted the Manchester United left flank as the weak area and it was Alenichev who found space on that side before delivering a cross for McCarthy to fire Porto level. With United scrambling to offer better protection down their left-hand side, space began to appear over on the right and Nuno Valente was allowed the time and space to deliver a pinpoint cross perfectly between Gary Neville and Wes Brown, the central defenders for the evening.

Having found a gap between them for his first goal, McCarthy once more drifted between the two, powering a header beyond the dive of Tim Howard. The goal was to prove decisive, with Porto claiming the victory from the first leg. That second leg task was made more complicated for United with Roy Keane, the captain and talisman of the side, getting himself sent off in the final moments of the match for a stamp on the side of the Porto goalkeeper. And yet, there was still the sense that United would progress having claimed an all-important away goal and being the more experienced team.

A clever check-back and cross from Ryan Giggs just after the half-hour mark was met by a glancing header from Paul Scholes, and United had re-established themselves in the lead of the match. It was perhaps the moment of luck that every successful side experiences, one which allowed Porto to still be in a position to launch a late flurry of attacks.

It gave Porto the aggregate lead and meant that even a United winner would only send the match to extra-time. Mourinho was increasingly making his presence felt in Europe. He has some top players in the world and they should be doing a lot better than that. You would be really sad if your team gets as clearly dominated as that by an opponent who has been built on maybe ten per cent of the budget.

The Portuguese champions were rewarded with a tie against French champions Lyon, who were on their way to a third French title out of seven in a row. The match gave Porto the chance to prove that their result against the English champions was more than a lucky one, and the team delivered with a confident display of controlled football. The whole team produced a performance worthy of the occasion, and it was just before half-time when a cross from McCarthy deflected in off the side of Deco.

With just twenty minutes remaining Deco turned to his more familiar role of provider, delivering a world-class free-kick onto the head of the on-rushing Ricardo Carvalho, who powered it home. The return leg in France was a much closer affair, with Lyon perhaps benefitting from being on their home turf. Despite the close nature of the game, the sixth-minute strike from Maniche, played in from another Deco assist, gave Porto the vital away goal and left Lyon needing four goals. A Luyindula finish just eight minutes later gave the French champions some hope, but Maniche, once again found by Deco, put pay to any notion of an unlikely comeback shortly after half-time.


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There have been setbacks, but continues to find ways to make the most of his second chance. This behavior gave them the infamous nickname, "The Crazy Gang. Despite their outlandish behavior, the team outplayed their competition to take the FA Cup in as they took down Liverpool in what was a major upset.

3 Reasons Why Being An Underdog Is Your Secret Weapon

The party would only last so long though, as the team was pushed out the Premier League in , and eventually dissolved into the Milton Keynes Dons in After starting out the NFL season , many fans were calling for the Denver Broncos to finally give quarterback Tim Tebow a shot. The former hero of the Florida Gators finally got his shot to start in Week 7 against the Miami Dolphins, a game in which he led the team to a overtime victory.

With the team motivated, and Tebow under center, the Broncos went on a run to finish off the season, which took the team into the postseason. The Broncos hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round and prevailed, taking the game in OT—which was won in typical, hanging-by-the-edge-of-your-seat Tebow fashion. The Patriots would end Tebow and the Broncos' season with victory, but the team showed that a little inspiration can go a long way.

Embrace a Growth Mindset to Achieve an Infinite Amount of Success

Haskins was the first ever coach to use an all African-American starting lineup. It was unheard of, and it definitely made people wary of their chances. With confidence in his players, Haskins' Miners went on to take the title from the Kentucky Wildcats, and sealed their place in history. While the team certainly wasn't bad—they finished the season —they were fighting against the odds, and the ideologies of many people who were fans of the game. The story of Michael Oher is quite impressive, and while he wasn't an underdog once he hit the scene, his story is one that puts him into this company.

Oher didn't come from a great home, as his mother was constantly running into problems with drugs and his father had problems with the law. With a tough place to grow up, Oher frequented many different homes as he continued to pursue a career in football as a high school student. Eventually, he was not only fostered, but adopted by the Tuohy family. They helped him progress in school, which eventually gave him a real shot at playing football in college. Despite all his road blocks, Oher emerged from the dark cloud of smoke and was eventually brought on to play for the Mississippi Rebels.

While Oher was clearly talented throughout his life, he is a true inspiration to anyone who sees their living situation as a setback on their future. While the Jeremy Lin story is just beginning, and still has a chance to fade out, there is no doubt that New York Knicks' phenom guard has taken the NBA by storm.

Since getting his first real shot on February 4th, Lin has had over 20 points in nine of his 12 games where he has played a good chunk of time.

Lin has fought rejection his entire career, as he was never given a chance in his home state as a potential college athlete and had to take his talents to the East to join the Harvard Crimson. While he was a stellar player there, he still went undrafted, but was eventually picked up by the Golden State Warriors. After spending the season with the Warriors, Lin was dropped before the season was underway.

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He was given a shot with the Houston Rockets, but they eventually dropped him. He finally found his way to the Knicks, and with the team in despair after injuries to Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, they needed to give the bench a shot. Lin finally got his opportunity, and thus far, he has taken full advantage of it.


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  • It will remain to be seen where his career will go, but for now it looks like it's only getting better. It is hard to call a man who was a three-time runner-up at Wimbledon an underdog, but when Goran Ivanisevic shocked the world at the tennis tournament in , it was certainly considered a come-from-behind victory.

    Underdog's Way to Success "Documentary"

    As mentioned, Ivanisevic was not an unfamiliar name at the top of the tennis world. At one point in his career, he was ranked No. Still, he had never won a Slam title. After missing the entire season with a shoulder injury, Ivanisevic was ranked No. He was given a wild card into the tournament since he already had much success there, and it was clear that he wasn't going to give up this opportunity.

    It was not an easy road for Ivanisevic, as he had to go through Carlos Moya, Andy Roddick, Marat Safin, Tim Henman and then Patrick Rafter to win the title, but he made it through each one of them to claim the Wimbledon title. While he never claimed another title after that, the performance was a sweet end to the Croatian's career. For a mid-major school to make the NCAA Men's final two years in a row—to even make the tournament two years in a row—is definitely not an easy feat.

    Unfortunately, they never walked away with a win, as they fell to the Duke Blue Devils in and the UConn Huskies in Still, the team represented everything that spoke for defeating the odds, as well as that the tournament really gives an opportunity to anybody who enters the pool. Read more Read less.

    Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Not Enabled. Customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now.

    Fight dirty

    Please try again later. Verified Purchase. This book starts out giving examples, facts and statistics around the theme of self motivation. The stories are interesting, but the money comes when James opens up about his personal struggles and how his faith in God and drive to succeed pulled him through. The author writes in a way that makes you feel as though you want to open the door and let him in. I look forward to reading more from James Clayton! I was inspired. There are no boundaries.

    Greatest Underdog Stories in Sports | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

    It tells the story of people's lives and This book is absolutely amazing. It tells the story of people's lives and their tribulations to reach Success.

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    I was very inspired by the stories within the book and couldn't put it down.