Onyango finds pos­i­tives in early AF­CON exit

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

CAPE TOWN — Mamelodi Sun­downs keeper De­nis Onyango be­lieves Uganda’s ex­pe­ri­ences at the Africa Cup of Na­tions in Gabon could be of great ben­e­fit in the fu­ture.

The Cranes, tak­ing part in their first con­ti­nen­tal show­piece in 39-years, play their fi­nal match of the tour­na­ment when they tackle Mali on Wed­nes­day.

With no points on the board in Group D, they will be go­ing home no mat­ter the re­sult.

How­ever, de­spite this, the east African side have ac­quit­ted them­selves well in Gabon, and made African pow­er­houses Ghana and Egypt both work very hard for their 1-0 vic­to­ries.

Onyango, who be­came the first goal­keeper to win CAF’S Player of the Year - Based in Africa award, and was also in­stru­men­tal in Sun­downs win­ning the CAF Cham­pi­ons League, has man­aged to find sev­eral pos­i­tives from the Crane’s cam­paign.

Not least of which is the fact that they will also face both Ghana and Egypt in the 2018 World Cup qual­i­fiers.

The Pharaohs bat­tled for their vic­tory over Uganda on Satur­day night, sur­viv­ing a spir­ited Cranes per­for­mance in­clud­ing a sec­ond half goal which was ruled off­sides, be­fore scor­ing an 89th minute win­ner.

The Black Stars failed to net against the Cranes in open play and needed a penalty from An­dre Ayew to se­cure vic­tory.

“This AF­CON was good for the guys be­cause we still have to play Ghana and Egypt in the World Cup qual­i­fiers,” Onyango was quoted say­ing by the Star.

“We have seen the way they play the game and how tac­ti­cal they are. We be­lieve this will help us in the com­ing games be­cause we are play­ing Egypt next.

“It’s very im­por­tant for us to stay fo­cused, who knows Uganda might be at the World Cup. You must be­lieve. Play­ing in the World Cup with the na­tional team is the only thing that’s now miss­ing from my ca­reer.”

There has been talk that Uganda coach Mi­lutin ‘Mi­cho’ Sre­do­je­vic is set to re­place Ghana boss Avram Grant af­ter the Na­tions Cup, although Onyango has pleaded for the for­mer Or­lando Pi­rates coach to stay.

“He brought us here af­ter 39 years of try­ing a lot of dif­fer­ent coaches who couldn’t do this,” said the 31-year-old.

“For me, he has done his part. We lacked ex­pe­ri­ence here, which is how we lost to Ghana and Egypt. We weren’t out­played. We held our own against two good teams in Africa.

“He is the right man for the job, hope­fully we keep him. But if he moves on, that’s part of foot­ball. I think that he has done well for Uganda.”

Onyango will be look­ing to play a cru­cial role for Sun­downs when the league re­sumes with a fix­ture against Bloem­fontein Celtic at the Dr Molemela Sta­dium on Fe­bru­ary 8.

Kick off is at 19:30. — Sport24

DE­NIS Onyango be­lieves Uganda’s in­clu­sion in the 2017 African Na­tions Cup can prove a huge boon for the team.

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