The Harare football giants were on Sunday held to a 1-1 draw by Mochudi Centre Chiefs in Gaborone to progress to the first round of the competition on a 4-1 aggregate score.
Pasuwa’s men will now meet AS Vita of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the next round with the first leg set for Harare in two weeks’ time before Dynamos travel to Kinshasa a week later.
For many Dynamos fans who watched the match, they surely must be worried about the team’s second half performance.
After a brilliant first half where they dominated play and took a well deserved 43rd minute lead, they took the foot off the accelerator in the second stanza, allowing the hosts to cancel Ronald Chitiyo’s goal.
But more worryingly for the Dynamos supporters was the realisation soon after the match that this draw meant that their team had not won an international away match since Pasuwa took over in the later stages of the 2011 season.
After winning the league that season, Pasuwa could not make the same impression in the Champions League the following term — his performances away from home being the biggest letdown.
In his first campaign in Africa in 2012, he was held to a 2-2 draw by Mozambique’s Liga Muculmana, but won the reverse fixture to progress through to the first round.
Dynamos were torn apart by Esperance in Tunisia, conceding six goals to nothing to crash out of the tournament.
However, they were given an opportunity to redeem themselves when given a ticket to play in the Caf Confederation Cup that same season, but after drawing at home to InterClube of Angola in the first leg match, they lost the reverse fixture 1-0 to bow out of the second-tier tourney.
Last year, they began their Champions League campaign with a convincing 4-0 preliminary round win at home against a very poor Correctional Services team from Lesotho.
But as poor as they were, the prisons side still managed to beat Dynamos in Maseru.
Then in the first round, Dynamos won the first leg match against Bizertin and looked very good to progress to the second round, but went on to collapse away in Tunisia, losing the match 3-0.
Speaking to the media after Sunday’s draw against Mochudi, Pasuwa said he was very worried with the team’s poor away record, adding that they would need to up their game to make an impression in Africa this season.
“As coaches, we are very worried with our away form. The players have to be mentally strong when playing away and another thing is referees sometimes decide matches out there, but it still comes back to the players’ mental strength.
“Playing away demands high levels of concentration which sometimes lacks in the team. For example, against Mochudi we played very well in the first half with good combinations, but in the second half we lost shape as we tried to defend deep allowing the opposition to come at us.
“You cannot afford to do that when playing away because the opponent will be pressing and you are bound to make mistakes,” said Pasuwa.
He also gave his assessment of AS Vita, their next opponents in the Champions League.
“I watched them playing against Kano Pillars in the first round. They are a very organised side. We need to prepare well if we are to win the match. We need to get some videos of their matches and analyse them before our encounter,” added Pasuwa.
Pasuwa handed Walter Mukanga his debut for Dynamos against Mochudi and the former Triangle midfielder was awesome especially in the first half.
He was a reassuring presence in deep midfield, winning the balls and spraying them forward. Another club new signing Chitiyo, who had a quiet game by his high standards in the first leg in Harare, gave a glimpse of what the Dynamos supporters should expect this season with a neat performance.
Pasuwa made special mention of the two players in his post-match analysis.
“Chitiyo has always been a good player, that’s why he was in the national team. He also played well in Harare (in the first leg) and his substitution in that game was tactical more than anything else,” he said.
“Mukanga played really well today (Sunday). He was aggressive with and without the ball. He is very intelligent, the type of player that can prosper at Dynamos. But I think all the players had a good game despite slowing down in the second half,” added Pasuwa.
The Dynamos team, travelling by road, was scheduled to leave Gaborone at 4am yesterday and expected in Harare afternoon. - News Day