Tom Boonen celebrates at the finish line as he wins the 96th Tour of Flanders in Oudenaarde, Belgium. Picture: REUTERS/SEBASTIEN PIRLET
Tom Boonen celebrates at the finish line as he wins the 96th Tour of Flanders in Oudenaarde, Belgium. Picture: REUTERS/SEBASTIEN PIRLET

• April 1, 1998 SOCCER — A replacement goal was carried onto the pitch at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium before Real Madrid’s Champions League semifinal first leg against Borussia Dortmund.

Real’s “Ultra Surs” (gang of right-wing hooligans) climbed a safety fence to which the goalposts were attached and their weight brought the posts crashing down minutes before the match started, leading to a 75-minute delay.

Real won the semifinal 2-0 on aggregate and beat Juventus 1-0 in the final to win their first European Cup in 32 years.

• April 1, 2011 BASEBALL — Philadelphia Phillies’ John Mayberry jnr was covered in shaving cream after hitting the walk-off, game-winning run batted-in (RBI) single against the Houston Astros in their MLB National League season opener in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Pinch-hitter Mayberry lined an RBI single off Brandon Lyon to cap a three-run rally by the Phillies in the bottom of the ninth inning to secure victory.

“This was the script I’d have written,” the rookie said of his opening day appearance.

• April 1, 2011 BASKETBALL — Miami Heat forward LeBron James was central to his side’s 111-92 victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

James, playing his first season with Miami after his heavily criticised move from Cleveland, led the Heat to the NBA finals in which they were defeated 4-2 by the Dallas Mavericks.

He led Miami to successive NBA championships in the next two seasons before moving back to Cleveland in 2014 and helping the Cavaliers win their first NBA title in 2016.

• April 1, 2012 ICE HOCKEY — Black Wings Linz’s players bagged the Austrian Ice Hockey League championship trophy after winning their playoff final series against KAC Klagenfurt 4-1 in Linz.

Linz’s triumph was a surprise because the club did not have the financial muscle of contenders such as Salzburg or Klagenfurt and were playing their first season under coach Rob Daum.

Klagenfurt won the first game in the best-of-seven series, but Linz hit back immediately before extending their winning streak to four in a row to wrap up the title.

• April 1, 2012 CYCLING — Local favourite Tom Boonen won the 96th Tour of Flanders in Oudenaarde, Belgium.

Boonen fought off Filippo Pozzato and Alessandro Ballan in a three-man sprint finish to become the fifth rider to win the event three times.

“I was worried about heading to the finish with those Italians. They know each other well and I feared they would kill me, but the strong headwind was my ally,” he said. “I started too early and didn’t have much left but it was enough.”

• April 1, 2012 GOLF — South Korea’s Yoo Sun-young and her caddie Adam Woodward jumped into Poppie’s Pond to celebrate winning the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, California.

Kim In-kyung fluffed her lines on the final hole by missing a one-foot putt to send the tournament into a playoff.

Yoo sunk an 18-foot birdie on the first playoff hole to become the second South Korean to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship, which remains her only major title.

• April 1, 2012 SOCCER — Eden Hazard scored a penalty for Lille during a French Ligue 1 soccer match against Toulouse at Lille Metropole Stadium in Villeneuve d’Ascq, near Lille. The Belgium international later set up Dimitri Payet to secure a 2-1 victory over Toulouse.

Hazard finished the season with 20 top-flight goals and moved to Chelsea in June.

In seven years at Stamford Bridge, he won the Premier League and Europa League twice, and the FA Cup and League Cup once. Currently in his first season at Real Madrid, Hazard has struggled for form and fitness and suffered a broken ankle in February.

• April 1, 2012 TENNIS — Serbia’s Novak Djokovic won his third Miami Masters title with a successive sets victory over Britain’s Andy Murray in Key Biscayne, Florida.

Djokovic, the defending champion, did not drop a set in the tournament and avenged his loss to Murray in the 2009 final with a 6-1 7-6(4) victory.

Djokovic would go on to win three more titles in Miami and his current tally of 34 Masters 1,000 crowns is second only to Rafa Nadal’s 35.

• April 1, 2013 BASEBALL — The Boston Red Sox, after finishing bottom of the American League East division the previous season, beat the New York Yankees 8-2 on the opening day at the Yankee Stadium, New York, on the opening day of the MLB American League baseball season.

Two weeks later, their city was plunged into mourning by the Boston Marathon bombings. In the games that followed, the Red Sox hung a jersey on the dugout emblazoned with “Boston Strong” and “617” representing the city’s area code, and also wore “B Strong” patches on their uniforms.

They finished the regular season with a 97-65 win-loss record and beat the St Louis Cardinals in six games to win the franchise’s eighth World Series title.

• April 1, 2014 SOCCER — Brazil forward Neymar scored to earn Barcelona a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid in their Champions League quarterfinal first-leg match at Camp Nou.

It was Atletico who advanced to the final four after Koke’s early goal in the second leg gave them a 2-1 aggregate win over their Spanish rivals.

Barcelona finished the season without a major trophy but bounced back in 2014-2015, clinching the treble by winning La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.

Reuters