Horoya will be a tough nut to crack in the return tie
Castro: It's all about winning at home
Kaizer Chiefs striker Leonardo Castro has emphasised the importance of taking advantage of playing at home as they start their first ever CAF Champions League group stages journey against Guinea side Horoya at FNB Stadium today (6pm).
Castro is one of a few Chiefs playing personnel who’ve tasted Champions League pool phase action before, having been involved with his previous club Mamelodi Sundowns. Castro was part of the Brazilians class that won the 2016 edition of the Champions League.
“We all know the Champions League games are very tough [especially] in group stages. We need to work hard to get the results. We need to be clever, play with responsibility. We need to make our home games count,’’ said Castro.
“In our away games, we can even try to play for draws [if they win home games]. A point from an away game counts, it’s a big achievement to get some points in away games.’’
Castro is of the view that drawing first blood against the Guineans today can boost Chiefs' chances to win. The 31-year-old striker insisted they must finish the job on home turf; highlighting Horoya will be a tough nut to crack in the return tie.
“If we score first, I think we will get the three points. It’s very important to start in a right way,’’ added the Colombian-born marksman.
“Playing Horoya away is going to be tough because of the weather and other conditions. So the most important thing for us is to make it count here in our home ground, to win the game... that’s it.’’
Amakhosi are in Group C alongside Horoya, Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and Angolan side Petro de Luanda. Ahead of kick-starting their Champions League group phase campaign, Chiefs have been struggling with consistency in the Dstv Premiership.
“The [domestic] league and Champions League are different because teams are playing in different ways. We are facing teams with different types of structures. We all know how the North Africans are, they are big, they are tall and they’re strong. Our group is going to be interesting,’’ Castro explained.