Castro aiming for winning start in Champion League

Amakhosi striker Leonardo Castro is targeting a winning start for Chiefs when they host Guinean side Horoya in their opening group stage game in the CAF Champions League at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday evening. The Colombian, who is a CAF Champions League winner in 2016 with Mamelodi Sundowns is ready to help Chiefs fight all the way in the competition and believes that a good start will set Chiefs up nicely for a long run in the competition.

Castro and his teammates drew 1-1 with SuperSport United in a DStv Premiership game on Saturday and are now prepared for the challenge of Horoya despite the games coming thick and fast.

“We played on Saturday we have been recovering over the past two days,” he explains. “We will now see what we need to do and how we need to play against Horoya. We know that the games in the Champions League are very tough, especially in the group stages.”

Castro is looking to use his past success in the tournament to help Chiefs and has some advice for his teammates. “We need to work hard to get the results,” he says. “It’s going to be a tough game. We need to be clever and play with responsibility. Importantly, we need to minimize our individual mistakes and score first. I think we will get the points.”

With ample experience in the African continental competition, Castro who scored the only goal of the tie when Chiefs defeated Primeiro de Agosto in the first round, knows the value of picking up three point out of the gate. “It’s very important to start in the right way,” he stresses. “We need to make our home games count and aim for a minimum of one point in away matches.”

With Chiefs having the chance to kick off at home, Castro is ready to switch from domestic competitions to the CAF Champions League. He does admit that there are pronounced differences in the challenges posed by teams domestically and in continental competitions. “it is very different because the teams play in different ways,” he points out. “We are facing teams with a different kind of structure and we all know they have different physical attributes; it will be interesting in our group.”

While Castro himself has not faced Horoya previously, he has been doing his homework on them. “My friends and some of my colleagues they have played against them,” he concludes. “It is especially tough when you play away against them. The most important thing for is to make it count at home and win on our home turf.”

Chiefs will face Horoya at 18:00 on this evening. Chiefs game against Horoya will be televised live online, with a late broadcast on SABC at 23:00.