THE Dynamos family is still haunted by the way the Glamour Boys crumbled in the second leg of their first round Champions League showdown against MC Alger of Algeria last year. The Harare giants had
taken a seemingly comfortable 4-1 lead from the first leg at Rufaro, turning on one of the finest performances by the Glamour Boys on the continent, as they swept aside the Algerians.
At times, their movement was irresistible as they tore apart their opponents, with both ruthlessness and style, and it was cruel on their dominance that they didn't hit half-a-dozen goals that afternoon.
But a late goal scored by the Algerians, via a penalty after an unnecessary foul by Denver Mukamba, gave them a lifeline.
And DeMbare's world collapsed around them in Algiers as their hosts, aided by some of the most diabolical refereeing ever seen on the continent, powered to a 3-0 victory.
The Glamour Boys were out on away goals and, for the first time in the era of the Champions League, they crashed out in the first round.
The effects are still being felt.
Veteran defender Guthrie Zhokinyi is still serving a four-match suspension for the red card earned in the highly-charged game in Algiers.
On Sunday Dynamos are back in the second leg of the first round of a Champions League tie when they host Mozambican champions Liga Muculumana at Rufaro.
And coach Callisto Pasuwa believes his charges have learnt from last year's mistakes.
Dynamos are going into the match with their confidence high after they held Liga Muculumana to a 2-2 draw in Maputo two weeks ago.
Inform striker Takesure Chinyama twice gave Dynamos the lead as he scored in the 21st minute and 52nd minute but Liga Muculumana rallied from behind to level through Telinho Vaz and Enesio.
Yesterday, Pasuwa warned his charges that the battle was still on and wants his players to remain focussed.
"I think three quarters of the guys who were in the squad last year were making their first appearances in the African Champions League and I believe they learnt a lot from the defeat against MC Alger.
"This time they have changed their attitude and know that this is the African Champions League where football requires a positive attitude.
"I have been telling them (the players) that we scored two goals away in Mozambique so Liga Muculumana can also score two goals in Zimbabwe.
"So, we are playing like it is still 0-0 and we expect to be on our toes," said Pasuwa.
Pasuwa told a press conference yesterday that he managed to work on some of the weakness he picked out in Maputo.
"We let in goals from crosses in Mozambique and I think we have rectified that now," he said.
Dynamos are going into the match still buoyed by their 3-0 victory over Hardbody in the Castle Lager Premiership last Sunday after Chinyama fired home a memorable hat-trick.
"The boys could have scored more goals against Hardbody but we wasted so many chances.
"I think the guys were eager to get quick goals and ended up rushing their efforts.
"This time, I have told them to be patient with the opportunities until the time is right to get goals.
"There were times the boys rushed to get quick goals.
"In some instances a person was at an acute angle but made an attempt to score instead of passing the ball to someone who could execute a goal from a better position," said Pasuwa.
Being at home, Pasuwa is aware of the pressure from the fans but hopes it will also motivate the players.
"We are playing at home and we have to attack instead of being defensive.
"But while we attack, we have to be cautious in our defending as well," said Pasuwa.
In Maputo, Pusuwa played with Chinyama as the lone striker but he is hoping to field two outright forwards on Sunday.
"We might have two strikers but then it's the roles that they play that matters," he said.
The Dynamos coach is also hoping that veteran rightback David Kutyauripo will pass a late fitness test after he missed practice on Wednesday because of a knee injury.
"The only injury worry we have is David who rested yesterday and his chances of playing are 50-50," said Pasuwa.
If Kutyauripo fails to recover, Pasuwa could still find cover in either Timire Mamvura or Thomas Magorimbo while Washington Arubi is expected to keep goals.
Skipper George Magariro looks set to partner rookie Patson Jaure in the heart of defence as Zhokinyi remains suspended for the African Safari.
Wonder Sithole has not been registered for the competition while the Zambian pair of Arthur Kasoleke and Dereck Kabwe are yet to get the green light to play as their papers are not in order.
"Patson and George have been playing in central defence since the pre-season games, so they are likely to appear again," said Pasuwa.
Pasuwa, a former Dynamos utility player, has also emphasised the need for strict discipline on the field and advised his charges against unnecessarily remonstrating with match officials.
"Discipline is key and we have started fining players who earn unnecessary yellow cards," Pasuwa.
During the first leg, Pasuwa observed that Liga Muculumana were good ball players although they tend to keep possession for too long.
"We noticed that our opponents are good ball players but they tend to keep the ball for too long and we will not be worried a lot if they do that in their own half.
"We will try to then press them and launch counter attacks," he said.
Dynamos captain Magariro also insisted that they have to play well to reach the mini-league and said his troops were aware of the expectations from the fans.
"It was painful to lose to MC Alger last year but I think we have recovered and everyone is geared for this game.
"The mindset is to proceed to the mini-league phase where the stakes are higher," said Magariro.
Magariro hailed his young defensive partner, Jaure.
"Patson is a good youngster and I have played with him in several games this season.
"He is eager to learn and I hope he will be somewhere by the end of the year," said Magariro.
Liga Muculmana are expected to arrive around 4pm today and could opt to have a feel of the match venue after the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League tie between Monomotapa and Harare City this afternoon.
The other option for the coach Arthur Semedo and his team would be train twice tomorrow.
In the game in Maputo, Samedo had Brazilian national Oliveira in goals while Chimomole operated on the rightback wing and Paulino occupied the left back position.
Chihono and Jaoa Aguiar were fielded as the twin centre-backs with Enesio and Cumio were the attackers.
Winners from this round between Dynamos and Liga Muculumana will face either Esperance of Tunisia or Brikama of Gambia.
African Champions League first round, second leg
Dynamos v Liga Muculmana (Rufaro)