Acuna mathata

FITTING IN: Sundowns midfielder Jorge Acuna. Pic. Unknown
FITTING IN: Sundowns midfielder Jorge Acuna. Pic. Unknown

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Most players find it difficult to adapt to new surroundings, but that has not happened to Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Jorge Acuna.

Acuna and his teammates will be in action against Mpumalanga Black Aces tomorrow at Johannesburg Stadium in the Nedbank Cup final, and this will be his third final since joining the Brazilians at the beginning of the season.

While many require at least a season to adapt to the rigors of a new team - let alone a new country - the Chilean has dived right into Absa Premiership action, and is slowly building a cult following among the Downs faithful.

Acuna told Sowetan at training this week, through goalkeeper coach Alex Heredia, that things in the camp are comfortable and that everyone is confident ahead of tomorrow's match.

With victory so close they can taste it, Acuna and the rest of the Downs players are looking to end the season in a big way, after losing their way at one stage.

"To be a foreigner in this competitive league has not been easy, but I am touched by and happy to be regularly recognised. All this only motivates me to do better," Acuna said.

"I am never happy with my performance and always aim to play the best soccer I can."

The Chilean lists the strange language and the fast pace of the game as his main challenges so far.

Acuna added his voice to those at Sundowns who promised that, though they stumbled at the weekend against Free Sate Stars (losing 4-0), they will be at their slickest and most dangerous tomorrow, and will not fall into the trap of underestimating Aces.

"In the last 18 matches, we have only lost once and drew twice - not a bad run."