PREMIERSHIP giants Dynamos put one leg out of the inaugural Caf Confederations Cup after slumping to a disappointing home defeat in a first round, first leg match against King Faysal of Ghana at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
King Faysal were playing their first continental match in the history of the club but yesterday they looked as a team that has been playing international football for years now as they reduced Dynamos to a clueless group of 11 players.
Dynamos, who last week struggled to overcome a CAPS United reserve side in the Independence Trophy, found life unbearable against the Ghanaians who never really gave their best despite the win and the hosts fans were relieved that what could have been 4-0 ended at just 1-0.
That Eric Gawus 62nd minute goal was all that separated the two sides was mainly due to an outstanding defensive performance by captain James Matola and also the recklessness on the part of the visitors who were very casual in front of goal.
It was really a sad story for Dynamos that their man-of-the-match had to be a defender yet they were the home side needing a comfortable first leg lead to carry to Kumasi in a fortnight.
Dynamos will now have to win by two goals if they are to remain in the competition.
Despite the backing of the estimated 25 000-plus crowd, Dynamos were outplayed and outmaneuvered for the better part of the match although they caused a couple of anxious moments in the King Faysal box, especially after the introduction of Maxwell Dube.
The Harare giants went into the match yesterday hoping to get a very comfortable win before the reverse fixture but in the end it was the visitors who are now in the driving seat.
The Ghanaians were never under pressure from the start and Dynamos would now need to move mountains in the hostile environments in Ghana.
Playing away from their beloved Rufaro, DeMbare started at a cracking pace with winger Givemore Manuella stealing the show with a couple of good runs in the King Faisal territory but got limited support from his team-mates.
Manuella caused some anxious moments in the King Faysal rearguard when he worked his way through before sending a centre that Edmore Mufema wasted outside the box in the 10th minute.
Andrew Chifamba fumbled a seemingly good chance when he was set up by Manuella but he was beaten to the ball by the King Faysal goalkeeper and it was to be his last contribution before Tapfumanei Gweshe replaced him in the 40th minute.
The introduction of stocky forward Dube mid-way in the second half briefly changed the complexion of the game as Dynamos never tire in attacking towards the end of the match.
Midfielder Munyaradzi Mashiri must count himself very unlucky when his attempt smashed against the upright woodwork in the 63rd minute with keeper Mohammed just touching the ball before it rolled out for a corner.
Although Dynamos tried as much as they did and failed to beat their opponents, it was King Faysal who could have scored more than half-dozen goals had their front runners Gawu and Ben Wilson been more serious.
The two forwards with the help of Hamza Mohammed had pace and skill and were confident on the ball with their attacking game giving the home crowd a hint of what Dynamos must expect in the second leg.
King Faysal won the match in midfield where Dynamos players Desmond Maringwa, Manuella, Mashiri and Andrew Chifamba failed to play as a unit and in the end overworked their defence.
The strikeforce of Mufema and Norman Maroto was shut out for the entire match as all the balls aimed at them where easily dealt with by the towering defence of Shilla Illiasua, Iddrisu Yahaya, Habib Mohammed and Inusah Abass.
Despite the set back Dynamos coach Luke Masomere said his side could still win in Kumasi and storm through to the second round.
"I do not think that we played very badly today (yesterday) because both sides played very well but only that we lost to an equally good side.
"We noted some mistakes during the match and we would be working at making corrections and even some changes before we go to Ghana.
"Football is very funny because we lost here but nothing can stop us from winning just like they (King Faisal) had done in their own country," said Masomere.
The former Masvingo United and Amazulu coach had to be whisked away by police as scores of disgruntled fans bayed for his blood with some having started singing derogatory songs about Masomere towards the end of the match.
After the match some potentially riotous fans swarmed the entrance to the dressing rooms while Masomere, who had to duck a couple of missiles, was making his way out of the pitch.
While Masomere had problems with Dynamos fans, Herbert Addo might be close to signing a contract with the club.
Addo, who travelled to Zimbabwe before clinching a contract with King Faysal, said he had studied Dynamos type of play and worked out a tactic to thwart them.
He promised to finish off Dynamos in the second leg.
"We played a very tactical game after having seen that Dynamos want to attack with long balls upfront and we had two tall defenders to mark their strikers. They (Dynamos) do not play a fast game and we played a fast attacking and passing game.
"We should have played better and won by a bigger margin but we gave possession easily sometimes. But we will change the game plan for the reverse fixture when we finish them off," said Addo. Dynamos: T. Tanyanyiwa, J. Matola ,L. Gwata, F. Madziva; N. Togara, G. Manuela (M. Dube 62nd min), A. Chifamba (T. Gweshe 41st min), E. Mufema, M. Mashiri, D. Maringwa (v/capt), N. Maroto
King Faisal: S. Muhamed, H. Mohammed (capt), I. Yahaya, H. Mohammed, S. Illiasu, I. Abass, B. Wilson, P. Antwi (G. Ablordey 62min) E. Gawu, A. Yahuza, K. Opoku (J. Agyemang 73rd min)