Mamelodi Sundowns are gearing up for a massive Nedbank Cup clash against Orlando Pirates to do battle for a place in the final four of the tournament. Both teams have been doing duty in continental football and as a result this game had to be rescheduled to fit into the jam-packed fixture schedule.
Ahead of the mouth-watering clash, we sat down with goalkeeper Denis Onyango to speak about the upcoming clash against The Buccaneers: “I think all the players are looking forward to the match and it’s always a very interesting encounter between us and Pirates because both teams play entertaining football so we hope the supporters will enjoy the game, unfortunately, it’s a knockout game and one team has to go through to the semi-finals so no one will hold back and I believe that will make the encounter more interesting.”
Bafana Ba Style have been on a charge in their defence of their 2019/20 title and Onyango reflected on what it feels like carrying the target of defending champions on their backs: “Well being the defending champions of the Nedbank cup it’s never easy defending such trophies. Everyone will be gunning for us and the fact that we are also the league defending champions makes every game difficult, but we are used to such challenges and we are taking it one game at a time since we are getting closer to the final stretch of the season. It is important that we remain focused and work harder because we can take the remaining trophies if we stay focused and determined.”
The last time the two sides clashed was in the DStv Premiership and in a highly-competitive affair which saw Masandawana take all the points after a solitary goal from Brian Onyango.
Encounters between the Brazilians and The Buccaneers are known for bringing the country to standstill on the day of the game with the stadium being packed to the rafters on gameday. With this in mind, Denis shared his feelings on playing such a massive game behind closed doors:
“Of course we miss the supporters big time and especially in such games because they drive us as players and that alone make a huge change on the game, but as professionals we have to do our work even without the supporters in the stadiums but we know they will be watching on their TVs and cheering us on on their couches. Keeping safe is very important and we hope to see them soon back at the stadiums.” concluded Onyango.
The game takes place on Thursday the 15th of April at Loftus Versfeld Stadium