Mamelodi Sundowns’ goalkeeper Denis Onyango has praised the club’s decision to go to Rwanda early to prepare for their clash with Rayon Sports on Wednesday in the Caf Champions League.
Sundowns flew to Kigali immediately after beating AmaZulu 3-1 on Friday in Durban in the league. The Brazilians got an opportunity to watch Rayon first hand on Sunday in the Rwandan League before holding two training sessions on an astro-turf and then trained on the match venue on Tuesday.
“It’s good for the players to focus on the game and acclimatise on the weather because since it’s summer in South Africa, it’s the opposite here,” Onyango said. “It’s been raining almost every day (because it is the rainy season). It was good for us to come early so that we have peace of mind, stay away from the distractions and focus on the game. It was a good decision by the technical team.
“So far everything is going well in Rwanda. It’s a very chilled country, very clean. They welcomed us very well. We are focusing on the game because we know how hard it will be, especially since this is the last round before the group stage. We’ve experienced this before. We saw how tough it was to beat KCCA (Kampala Capital City Authority) to reach the group stage last year. It never gets easy. We will do our best to get into the group stage. Everyone is still focused and we want to keep the winning momentum because there are a few games remaining in the league. This will push us towards the end of the season.”
The Brazilians take on Rayon at Amahoro Stadium in the first leg of the first round of the Champions League. Sundowns watched the team play on Sunday and then did extensive video analysis on them so that they know what they’ll face tomorrow.
“They are a very good team going forward,” Onyango said. “They have a lot of big boys. They’ve got foreigners from Cameroon and Burundi. It’s a team that looks to play good football from the back. We respect that but at the same time we are good going forward and defending. We’ll do our best not to concede. In the Champions League it’s very important not to concede, and it’s important to score away because it gives you an edge.”