Ahead of the highly anticipated clash between Mamelodi Sundowns and Saint George in the CAF Champions League, Uganda Cranes goalie Robert Odongkara says he knows every Sundowns player.
The Ugandan custodian is the first choice goalie at the Ethiopian giants, playing the group stages of the competition for the first time and reveals that he has been following his opponents since the draw was made.
“Personally, I have been watching the games of Sundowns since the groups were revealed,” he is quoted on CAFonline. “I know each and every player of their team, from the goalkeepers to the forwards,” he added.
Odongkara admits there will be tension and nervousness from most of his teammates given it’s the maiden time at this level but is optimistic they will give a good account of themselves.
Our players are not known and some of them will be nervous and emotional. They are ready to play at this level and we will give our best to display to achieve a good performance.
The former SC Villa custodian has recovered in time to face his compatriot and first choice national team goalkeeper, Denis Onyango.
Odongkara, who has been following in the footsteps of Onyango wherever through his career, says they have been communicating a lot of recent and looking forward to seeing each other.
We (Denis and I) have been communicating a lot regarding this game and we are looking forward to seeing each other. It will be exciting to play against him. But that is not the main point. The main point is playing at the group stage of the CAF Champions League.
On Sundowns as a team
Odongkara admits the hosts and African champions hold the edge given the experience and quality but dubbed each of the six group games as a ‘Cup final’.
Every game at this stage is like a Cup final. Sundowns is a big team and it will be challenging. We lack group stage experience, and they have more quality. We are not frightened and will go out there to look for a win,” said Odongkara, who deputizes for Onyango at the national level.
Sundowns hosts the first game in a group that also has AS Vita of DR Congo and Esperance of Tunisia who face off on Friday.