ZIMBABWE’s representatives in the Caf Champions League and the Confederation Cup, Dynamos and How Mine, started off the campaign on a good note winning their respective matches against Botswana’s Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Zanzibar’s Chuoni respectively.
That it took 48 minutes for Dynamos to find an opener and were later awarded a dubious penalty when clearly Cliff Sekete slipped on his own in the box shows that coach Kalisto Pasuwa has a long way to go before he can successfully gel the old boys and the new signings.
He has about seven new players that have to fit into his new style of play and celebrating a win against Mochudi means little to his bigger plans. Opposition from better leagues in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and South Africa are lying in wait should Dynamos win again this weekend in Gaborone.
Besides having been at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013 in South Africa, Botswana football, at club level, has not developed that much.
Perhaps Dynamos need a friendly before the return leg so as to oil their machine. But this may be impossible because they fly out on Thursday. But they have to find a way to correct their mistakes.
In the last two seasons, Dynamos have won at home, but gone on to lose away to Lesotho Correctional Services and CA Birzetin of Tunisia. This should be enough warning.
In Bulawayo, How Mine beat Chouni 4-0 in the first leg, preliminary round of the Caf Confederation Cup on Saturday at Barbourfields. But while this scoreline is a big boost to their chances to reach the first round proper, it should not give them a false sense of security.
Football in Zanzibar is only part-time; the country is not recognised by Fifa and cannot enter the World Cup qualifiers. They entered the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers once in 1962 and have not done so since then.
Their biggest achievement is winning the Cecafa Cup once and being finalists six times. That is all they have to show.
So for How Mine to celebrate thrashing such a nonentity might not be ideal at this stage. They need to use the match to identify their faults, areas of strengths and weaknesses and work on those. That they struggled in the opening 40 minutes of the match and had to make a substitution before the break shows a lot of problems on their side.
Should they progress, St Michel, who are seasoned campaigners in this competition and in the Champions League, would offer stiffer competition and How Mine might find themselves undone by this false sense of security from the Saturday rout.