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CAF Champions League

Onyango tells Mamelodi Sundowns to stay humble after Caf Champions League victories over Al Ahly

11:40 AM EDT 3/15/22
Denis Onyango, Mamelodi Sundowns, October 2021
Masandawana have been impressive in Africa’s premier knockout competition but the Ugandan is not getting carried away with that

Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango has told his teammates to keep their heads down after managing back-to-back Caf Champions League victories over defending champions Al Ahly.

The Brazilians edged Al Ahly 1-0 last weekend, having posted another victory by the same scoreline against the Egyptian giants away in Cairo two weeks earlier.

Sundowns are enjoying a six-point gap at the top of Group A and are yet to concede in this Champions League group campaign.

“Of course in the Champions League, the team winning against Al Ahly back-to-back, it’s massive and it boosts the confidence of the team and the self-belief that we can make it all the way to the final,” Onyango told Sundowns’ media department.

“But it’s a process, we need to stay humble and try to win the next game and get to the quarter-finals as well as winning the quarter-finals because it’s not easy.

"The Champions League is a very difficult tournament to win but the clean sheet we kept play a huge role in qualification and of course the team gets confidence.”

Onyango’s message to his teammates could be inspired by last season’s campaign when Masandawana beat Tout Puissant Mazembe home and away, including smashing their 74-match unbeaten record in Lubumbashi.

They then qualified for the quarter-finals with two matches to go but went on to be eliminated at that stage by Al Ahly.

Onyango is yet to feature in the Champions League group stage this season owing to injury but fellow veteran Kennedy Mweene has been steely in goal.

“When they go forward they know it’s safe at the back,” added Onyango.

“ The goalkeepers have been doing a very good job together with the infield players because we defend from the top.

"So for me, I think the goalkeepers have tried to command the team very well, trying to keep the team always on top of its game. The union is very strong that whoever plays gives his best.”

It is a season Sundowns still have opportunities to conquer Africa and win the Premier Soccer League title and the Nedbank Cup.

They have been drawn against third division side Summerfield Dynamos in the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals, after thrashing 6-0 another third-tier team Mathaithai in the Round of 16.

“The draw against Summerfield, it’s a fair draw because obviously there are no so-called smaller teams when you get to the quarter-finals, especially in the Nedbank Cup, because it’s a cup of dreams,” Onyango continued.

“So it’s a dream for Summerfield as well to play against Sundowns, but also for us, we must take the game, very serious as any other game.

“But most importantly, looking at Summerfield, they’ve got a few guys from the PSL, some few players and the coach also is very experienced, he was with PSL clubs.

“But for us, it’s all about getting the team to the next level and trying to qualify for the semi-finals, and giving the respect the game deserves.”

Summerfield are under the tutelage of experienced coach Clinton Larsen.