Tunis Are A Tough Side, But Downs Confident01/Jun/2017 19:15
Mamelodi Sundowns goal minder Denis Onyango is confident that his side can go all the way, and has urged both Sundowns supporters and supporters of other teams to join hands as playing in the CAF Champions League is not just about his side, but for the country.
Both Onyango and Sibusiso Vilakazi agree that it is important for them to win at home, and while they respect ES Tunis who they meet in the third round of the Group C campaign, they will not allow them to come to their home and take points.
The two sides meet at the Lucas Moripe Stadium Friday evening.
“Our campaign so far has been fairly ok, as we have been able to get four points from our two games,” said the man they call “Villa”.
“This game will be crucial for us. It is important that we use our home ground advantage, and we have prepared well for the outing. Everyone is ready, and anyone selected to play can do the job for the team, fans and country.”
“Esperance is a big team, and have a great history in continental contests, and have been dominant, so it is not going to be easy. But we know we are capable of getting all three points. All the players are craving to get to the top and remain there until the end of the round,” Vilakazi said.
“It’s exciting to get the opportunity to play in the Champions League. It is a deep feeling, and we want to do it again.”
He feels that although there are several injuries of crucial players, there are enough players who can step into the breach.
“Injuries are part of the game. Those on the field play for everyone, the supporters and one another.”
For Onyango, the experience gained in previous campaigns is crucial. “We enjoy playing in front of any crowds. It helps us to develop as players, and we are also able to build respect much more than you can in domestic leagues. Since our victory last year, we have earned respect, and have won top awards which is only possible if you play at this level,” the goalie who won the CAF Player of the Year said.
“We want to get the team back to where it belongs following our loss of the domestic league title. Esperance are one of the biggest on the continent, but we are determined to turn things around at home,” he added.
Onyango wants the team to finish top, and he believes the other teams in the group are still in it. ” It’s not just about us and Esperance. Vita are still in it, as are St George who have two points. Winning one game will give them five points and lift them in the stakes.
” It is therefor critical for us to wrap it up early to relieve the pressure later on. When we score, we know we are capable of winning, but we have to keep it clean at the back. But we will continue taking it one game at a time, and would urge our supporters and the rest of the country to support the teams that campaign in the Continental competitions. It’s not just about us, it’s about the country as players benefit from this exposure and prepares them for their national team campaigns,” he concluded.
Sundowns Communications Coordinator Thulani Thuswa joined in the call to support not just Sundowns, but all teams in the continental campaign.
Tickets for this game are available through Ticketpro outlets.