We wanted to win: Pasuwa

GABORONE - Dynamos coach Calisto Pasuwa hopes to stem the Glamour Boys’ poor away record in the African Champions League after the 1-1 draw with Mochudi Centre Chiefs here on Sunday.

Although the draw sealed passage for the Zimbabwe champions into the first round, where they will now meet AS Vita of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pasuwa is concerned with his side’s failure to win on the road.

Dynamos, who last qualified for the competition’s group stages back in 2010, have failed to win in their last 10 away games in Africa’s premier club knockout competition.

Pasuwa’s men started their 2014 campaign on a promising note with a 3-0 win over Chiefs in the first leg in Harare a week ago and a lot was expected from them in the second leg.

But the Harare giants could only manage a one-all draw here and had to hold on for a nervy finish as Chiefs threatened to score a second.

Ronald Chitiyo had given Dynamos the lead two minutes before halftime at the National Stadium before Onalethatha Tshekiso equalised for Chiefs in the 70th minute.

Pasuwa admitted he was hoping his team would emerge from Gaborone with a victory over the Botswana champions, who are virtually novices when it comes to continental club football.

“It wasn’t a result we were looking for,” Pasuwa told the Daily News after the match.

“We wanted a win here. In the first half we were defending too deep. But we got that goal that gave us a 4-0 advantage then we went to sleep again.”

Pasuwa, who has guided Dynamos to three consecutive Zimbabwean league titles, noted that there was still a lot to be done for his side to compete with the best sides from the continent.

“We still need to be compact in terms of our play, team building and team work. We are still trying to work on combinations. Our fitness is still lacking,” he said.

The DeMbare coach is worried that a looming player exodus at the Zimbabwe champions will once again derail their progress in the competition they hope to leave a lasting mark this year.

DeMbare registered 25 for the qualifying stages of the Champions League and from that list they have already lost defender Gift Bello, who signed for FC Platinum.

Ugandan midfielder Boban Zirintusa’s whereabouts are unknown and he is likely not to feature for the Glamour Boys anytime soon.

There is also a possibility that they might also lose goalkeeper George Chigova and defender Partson Jaure, who are both likely to be snapped up by South African clubs in the mid-season.

Defender Ocean Mushure is also on the radar of Sudanese club El Merrikh where he attended a trail last month.

“It’s a dilemma, but what can you do,” is all what Pasuwa could say on the prospect of losing the quartet at such a crucial stage.

DeMbare only have two weeks to prepare for the first leg against Vit,a which is scheduled for the National Sports Stadium on the weekend of February 28 and March 2.

“We are trying as much to get videos of our next opponents to see how they play and see if we can counter their attack,” said Pasuwa.

“I watched the first leg where AS Vita won 3-1. They are a much organised side. We should not seat on our laurels. Right now we are trying different combinations, we can only get better.”

The former Dynamos midfielder said it was imperative that the club get a solid home win ahead of the return leg in the Congo, where he expects a hostile reception.

“It’s always good to get a home win because you never know how you will be treated when you go away,” he said.

“I wasn’t part of the team in 2010 when Dynamos last travelled to DRC but I hear it wasn’t a pleasant stay. So we are expecting anything. We are trying to psyche up the players,” Pasuwa said. 

“It’s not going to be easy. Our concentration levels have to be high; we need to have a strong mentally.”

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