The Philadelphia Eagles have won what will surely be remembered as an instant classic in Super Bowl LII, defeating the New England Patriots by eight points.
The Patriots were going for a record sixth Super Bowl victory in 17 years and very nearly finished the night with the trophy in their hands.
If it hadn’t been for two controversial decisions to award heavily-reviewed touchdowns to the Eagles during the match, they might once again have taken the championship back to Boston.
And even in the final moments of the match Tom Brady was looking to conjure some last-minute magic of the kind that won the Patriots Super Bowl LI just a year ago.
However a Hail Mary throw on the last play of the game just couldn’t find a pair of Patriot hands, and the Eagles went up in raucous celebration, winning the big game for the first time in franchise history.
It was the Eagles who led for almost the entire match, with an early field goal putting them in front, and they didn’t relinquish their lead until the final quarter.
There was plenty of controversy in two Eagles touchdowns that were both ultimately approved by a review, but led the commentators to question whether the rules had been applied correctly.
That said, perhaps the most memorable play of the match will be that which came just before halftime and resulted in Nick Foles, eventually named MVP, becoming the first quarterback to catch a touchdown pass in Super Bowl history.
The Eagles seemed to be playing out of their skin for so much of the match and yet in a massive credit to the Patriots they were never far behind. Every time it looked like Philadelphia might pull away, the Pats found a way to get back into the game.
Then early in the fourth it happened – a touchdown from the Patriots and successful conversion put them ahead by the slim margin of one point.
However with 2:21 left on the clock in the match the Eagles found a reply through Zach Ertz. While they couldn’t convert it, a field goal to come put them up by the eventual eight point margin.
Although no one dared exhale until the final seconds ticked down off the clock – you never do with the Patriots – in the end it was the Philadelphia Eagles becoming Super Bowl champions for the first time in an gripping encounter.
Perhaps an even greater honour, they can put their names along side the New York Giants as one of only two teams ever to defeat Tom Brady and Bill Belichek in the NFL’s biggest game.
Philadelphia Eagles 41
New England Patriots 33