We need to plan: Pasuwa

HARARE - As Dynamos searched for answers on Sunday after another painful exit from the African Champions League in the qualifying stages coach Calisto Pasuwa has called for a change in approach by the Glamour Boys.

DeMbare bowed out of the competition at the hands of an ordinary Tunisian side Club Athletic Bizertin following a 3-1 aggregate defeat.

Bizertin won the first 3-0 last month in Bizerte but still progressed to the final round where they will meet reigning African champions Al Ahly despite losing Sunday’s second leg 1-0 at Rufaro Stadium.

This was the third year running that the Zimbabwean champions have failed to reach the group stages of Africa’s premier inter-club competition.

A difficult start in the Castle Premiership which saw them collecting two points from their opening two matches, has also added more misery to the hurt in the DeMbare camp.

Until their stunning collapse in Algeria three years ago, when losing 0-3 to MC Alger after having won 4-1 at home, Dynamos had built a good reputation for themselves on the continent as a very strong and competitive club.

They had not only reached the final of the Champions League in 1998, but for good measure, had qualified for the group stages of this tournament on every occasion that they had entered it.

After their grand mission to conquer Africa failed in Abidjan against Asec Mimosa, the Glamour Boys, then with such players as Justice Majabvi and Edward Sadomba in their ranks went all the way to the semi-finals of the same tournament in 2008.

But it is now a different story in the past three years as the Glamour Boys have failed to live up to their top billing in continental competitions.

“We need to plan ahead if we are to make it far in the Champions League. We will have to start preparing now so that maybe in two years the team will be solid without selling players outside,” Pasuwa said.

“It was a huge blow losing one of our main strikers Zekumbawira (Francesco) before the game through injury. It was in front of goal where we lacked composure and precision.

“We were hurrying things and it didn’t work in our favour. I think we have learnt a big lesson because we can’t build a Champions League team every year. We could go into scoring positions but we couldn’t bury our chances.”

During the off-season break, Dynamos lost some of their prized asserts in midfield ace Denver Mukamba who crossed the Limpopo to join South Africa’s Bidvest Wits while chief strikers Rodreck Mutuma and Simba Sithole moved to Bloemfontein Celtic and Supersport United respectively.

Pasuwa also released seasoned players like David Kutyauripo, Wonder Sithole, Martin Vengesayi, George Magariro and Desmond Maringwa.

DeMbare seem to have come short in terms of experience struggling in the final third while the absence of a proven playmaker in the post-Mukamba era is also clearly visible.  

There was no fire in the beast’s belly on Sunday with no DeMbare player ready to take the bull by its horns to bring the fight to Bizertin.

Cliff Sekete and substitute Tichaona Mabvura on a few occasions looked like they would provide the spark that DeMbare needed but it was not to be.

Dynamos captain Murape Murape who was part of the squad that reached the final of Africa’s premier club competition 15 years ago described his team’s Champions League exit in recent years as a big disappointment.

The pencil-slim midfielder said the club should learn with harsh lessons the importance of keeping their best players.

“We are very disappointed that we have been knocked out in the first round again. I think it’s a real cause of concern because failing to make it for three successive years in not a joke for a big club like Dynamos,” Murape said.

“Our major let-down is keeping on assembling new team every year. While we can win locally it’s difficult in Africa where competition is very stiff with teams well prepared.

“I think what is needed is for the club to keep their best players because we can’t spend the whole year building a team and after winning everything at home then we begin to build a champions league squad.  

“We did everything that we could. We created several scoring opportunities but unfortunately we failed to bury them. Everyone worked hard and I don’t think there is need to point fingers at anyone.

“We tend to try hard, hurrying our efforts and we ended up making too many mistakes. We are now turning our efforts to the Premiership and I believe we will bounce back after that slow start”.

Dynamos will now have domestic issues to take care of and tomorrow they visit Maglas Stadium for a date against Shabanie Mine.

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