June: A sporting month of tense finals, tackles and dunks

Ke yona!

Finals, finals, finals.

This is why June is a sporting month to look forward to and it’s set to produce action that will see sports fans spend most of their time glued to their couches at home or at a nearby pub.

Let’s take a look at some of the highs you just cannot afford to miss. The FA Cup final was supposed to be a preview but timing issues with publication means it’s the only review.

Football

English FA Cup – Arsenal vs Chelsea

I expected Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side team to want this trophy more to end the season with some silverware. The FA Cup will, however, serve as nothing more than consolation in what has been a disappointing season for the Gunners. But they were going against a team that’s made beating them look easy in recent years in Chelsea. Arsenal’s desperation wasn’t a guarantee at solace as the reigning English Premiership champion was also go into this one with great motivation: completing a domestic double.

 

UEFA Champions League final – Juventus vs Real Madrid

Juventus will be looking to lift the trophy for the first time since 1996 but a daunting task awaits them: the record 11-time winners Real Madrid, who beat them in the 1998 final. Both teams have been highly impressive in this year’s competition, making the final an equal match-up and difficult to call. The Millennium Stadium in Wales will free all from the suspense.

The final is on Saturday, June 3.

Watch highlights from the 2016 final:

 

South African Nedbank Cup – SuperSport United vs Orlando Pirates

It’s very rare that Orlando Pirates goes into a football match as underdogs, let alone a cup final. The Sea Robbers have had a season to forget, where they’ve struggled throughout and little suggests that they can suddenly change the narrative against Bafana Bafana-bound coach Stuart Baxter and his impressive United side. Action at the Moses Mabhida Stadium will kick-off at 8.15 on June 24.

Rugby

The British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand – Oh it’s on!

England has matched the All Blacks’ 18-Test winning streak this year and Ireland beat them. This surely is the best chance for the combined nations side to earn their second series win against the world champions since their first and only one which came in 1971.

The Lions Tour: June 3-July 8.

Test match dates: June 24, July 1 and July 8.

Basketball

NBA Finals

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors will face each other in the finals for the third consecutive year – a record in NBA history. Both teams come with one finals win ahead of this rubber match, with the Warriors winning in 2015 and the Cavs in 2016.

It’s LeBron James vs Kevin Durant; Kyrie Irving vs Steph Curry; JR Smith vs Klay Thompson; Kevin Love vs Draymond Green and Tristan Thompson vs JaVale McGee…let’s play!

 

  AUTHOR
Sabelo Mashego
Sports Journalist

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