Uganda Cranes captain Denis Onyango has revealed his best moments of the concluded year – 2018.
Onyango who also doubles as the Mamelodi Sundowns shot stopper, took to his social media platforms (Facebook and Instagram) to reflect what he referred to as an ‘incredible journey’, 2018 has been.
He cited winning the League title with Sundowns, facing Barcelona and leading the Cranes back to Africa Cup of Nations without conceding a goal, as the top moments that stood out for him in 2018.
Onyango also revealed that being listed among the top 10 Afrocan player of the year award for the CAF awards was also a big honour for him.
In the post, he commended his fans who supported him along the long journey, for which he feels ‘grateful’.
Onyango’s 2018 Highlights
Onyango was a strong pillar as Mamelodi Sundowns won their eighth league title with a game to spare, on April 28 when they beat Ajax Cape Town 3-1 at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
However, he went on to lose the goalkeeper of the season (PSL Awards) accolade to Kaiser Chiefs’ Itumelang Khune, who had kept 16 clean sheets, four better than Onyango.
The league title last year, was Onyango’s fifth and he joining the likes of Andre Arendse who also won it five times. Onyango had won his first three league titles with SuperSport United (2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10) before adding two with his current side, Sundowns.
On April 16 last year, it should be noted that Onyango was in goal as the Sundowns faced Barcelona in the Mandela Centenary Cup (International friendly Cup) at the FNB Stadium.
Despite losing 3-1, shipping in against Ousmane Dembele, Luis Suarez and Andre Gomes, Onyango noted that facing up against a star studded team, led by Lionel Messi was one of his major highlight in 2018.
Sundowns’ goal was scored by Sibusiso Vilakazi, in a game that was staged to celebrate the 100th birthday for former South African President and Africa’s greatest leader Nelson Mandela.
At an international stage, Onyango led Uganda Cranes to the Africa Cup of Nations for a second attempt in a row. The Captain didn’t concede a goal in a successful captain that was sealed with a game to spare.
In the qualification campaign that started with a 1-0 away win against Cape Verde on June 11 2017, Onyango, did not concede a goal in the subsequent games of 2018 in the AFCON qualifiers.
Uganda drew goalless with Tanzania in September, before beating up on Lesotho 3-0 and 2-0 in October in a double header home and away respectively. Onyango also kept another clean sheet in a game Uganda booked their place at AFCON to win 1-0 on November 17, in Namboole.
For his achievements as seen from above, he was nominated for the CAF awards best player of the Year, where he made it to the top ten. Onyango and Walid Soliman (Al Ahly and Egypt) were the only African based players on the cream list.
The list was later truncated to only three, recently on January 1st – with Pierre Aubamyang (Arsenal/Gabon) and Liverpool duo Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Mohammed Salah (Egypt) making the final cut.