(CBS) Team USA goalie Tim Howard’s 16 saves weren’t quite enough in his team’s 2-1 loss to Belgium in Tuesday’s World Cup round of 16 match, but it was nevertheless a performance that will live on forever.
Here’s a look at five more epic performances in sports history that came in a losing effort.
LeBron James in 2008
Early in James’ career, he didn’t have the same help he has now in Miami. Never was that more evident than in Game 7 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series against Boston in 2008, when Cleveland fell 97-92 despite this absurd line from its star: 45 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals.
Roger Federer in 2008
Referred to as the “Greatest Match Ever Played” in tennis circles, Rafael Nadal was a 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 winner against Federer in the 2008 Wimbledon final. Despite not winning the title for the first time in six years, Federer was masterful in defeat, with he and Nadal combining for long rallies and brilliant shotmaking. The match took nearly five hours.
Michael Jordan in 1986
In Game 2 of the Bulls’ first-round series against the Celtics in 1986, Jordan scored a playoff-record 63 points, scoring in about every way imaginable. It still wasn’t enough, as Chicago fell 135-131 and go on to get swept.
Jerry West in 1969
West remains the only player in history to win the NBA Finals MVP award when his team didn’t win the series. The Lakers star earned it, though, averaging 38 points in the series and registering 42 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in a Game 7 loss to the Celtics.
Harvey Haddix in 1969
On a late May day in 1969, Pirates left-hander Haddix was perfect through 12 innings in a display that’s never been matched in MLB history. But the game remained scoreless, and in the 13th inning, a runner reached second base following an error, and Haddix allowed the winning run on a hit. You can’t do much more in defeat.