Onyango close to perfection, Ochaya wants reprieve

Friday April 02 2021
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Uganda Cranes captain Denis Onyango

By Allan Darren Kyeyune

Last season, Mamelodi Sundowns went through an entire group stage of the Caf Champions League undefeated - winning four and drawing two games.
In doing so, they joined a bad of 10 who have managed the feat. One team - Tunisia’s Esperance - has done it on four occasions.
Another - Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia) - had done it three times. Two teams - Egyptian against Al Ahly and TP Mazembe of DR Congo - have done it twice.

None has won all six group stage games yet. Sundowns are on course to alter history having won four in a row to accumulate 12 points and ease into the knockout stage.
And one cannot bet against the South African side continuing the streak in Sudan against Al Hilal, who have Cranes’ goalkeeper Salim Jamal, on Match Day five today.
They already became the first team to beat giants TP Mazembe home and away. That was the latter’s first home defeat in 11 years. Mazembe had last lost 2-0 to Al Hilal in October, 2009.

The only dampener perhaps to their form that has seen Uganda Cranes captain Denis Onyango keep two clean sheets in four games could be rotation.
Onyango, coming off Uganda’s disappointing 1-0 loss to Malawi on Monday, is a potential candidate for a rest as Sundowns also seek to retain their Premier Soccer League title.

Such a decision to rest the big hitters would hand Al Hilal, second on three points, a lifeline at the Al Hilal Stadium, in Omdurman. All four teams still have a chance of progressing.
Algeria’s CR Belouizdad (three points) host TP Mazembe (two). For the latter, Ugandan left back Joseph Ochaya is unlikely to feature.

3pm: Al Hilal               vs.                        Sundowns
9pm: CR Belouizdad       vs.                 TP Mazembe