Dynamos’ exit in the Caf Orange Champions League soccer competition was largely predictable given the financial quagmire they are in and absence of order in the run-up and during the campaign.
Despite their exit, the former domestic league champions will take home at least $400 000 from the competition if they finish fourth in their group.
If they win their last game this Sunday against Esperance and move to six points while Entente Setif lose to TP Mazembe, they are assured of third place and $500 000—not even enough to cover expenses incurred during the campaign.
The 1998 runners-up were just a pale shadow of their former glorious past as they struggled to stamp authority with just their 1-0 win over Entente Setif of Algeria the only one to write home about.
They also came out second best in other matches including the 2-0 loss to TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the opening match. The same outfit sealed Dynamos’ fate on Sunday after beating the Harare giants 2-1 at Stade Maliba in Lubumbashi.
The writing was on the wall for Dynamos from the first whistle after they registered players who did not belong to the club.
They registered players such as Highlanders defender Zephaniah Ngodzo and Caps United midfielder Stephen Alimenda prior to sealing any deal.
The Harare giants had seven of their players suspended by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) before their match against TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi and coach Elvis Chiweshe was forced to travel with a depleted squad.
Chiweshe travelled to Lubumbashi with one goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya after the first choice Washington Arubi was suspended.
The third goalie who was registered with Caf was Willard Manyatera who was surprisingly let go by the club. Manyatera has since joined police side Black Mambas.
Chiweshe’s reign as Dynamos’ only third coach to take DeMbare into the mini-league became the worst as compared to Sunday Chidzambwa and David Mandigora.
Chidzambwa scaled dizzy heights after reaching the final of the 1998 edition where the Harare side lost 4-2 on goal aggregate to ASEC Mimosas of Ivory Coast under controversial circumstances.
Mandigora would try to emulate Chidzambwa’s feat but fell short a decade later after falling in the semi-final against Coton Sport Garua of Cameroon.
On Sunday in Lubumbashi, Mazembe started the match under a cloud after Franco-Italian coach Diego Garzitto reportedly walked out and Senegal-born technical director Lamine Ndiaye was named caretaker.
And world football governing body Fifa recently imposed a one-year ban on talismanic captain Tresor Mabi Mputu and an 11-month suspension on fellow midfielder Basisila Lusadisu after incidents during a regional championship match.
Meanwhile, record six-time winners Al-Ahly of Egypt also reached the African Champions League semi-finals on Sunday with a narrow home victory.
Egyptian “Red Devils” and the Congolese “Crows” join team-of-the-moment JS Kabylie of Algeria and Esperance of Tunisia in the last four of a competition offering a $1,5 million first prize.
Losing finalists will take home $1 million, semi-finalists will get $700 000 while third and fourth place will take home $500 000 and $400 000.
Whoever emerges victorious in November after the two-leg final also goes to the Fifa Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates the following month where more riches await plus a possible tilt at European champions Inter Milan.
Runaway Group B winners Kabylie will face the Group A runners-up — probably Mazembe — and the other tie is likely to pit North African giants Esperance and Ahly against each other.
Victory was a massive relief for under-pressure Ahly coach Hossam Al-Badry after plastic bottles were hurled at his team when Kabylie forced a draw in Egypt two weeks ago despite playing half the game with 10 men.
Kabylie claimed a 1-0 victory for the fourth time in five outings thanks to a goal from Nigeria-born substitute striker Izu Azuka with four minutes left of a tight home clash against Ismailia in Tizi-Ouzou.