Motor Action are enduring a storm of criticism for failure where they were widely expected to prosper.
The other two representatives, FC Platinum in the Champions League and Hwange in the Caf Confederation Cup also crashed out, leaving the national burden to DeMbare.
After forcing a draw in Polokwane against Black Leopards, Motor Action were expected to complete the task at Rufaro stadium, but the Mighty Bulls folded and lost 2-0, shocking as well as silencing the sweet brass music from their band of fans well before it hit the higher notes.
That it is only Dynamos now left in the continental competition begs questions about local football in comparison to other African nations.
Motor Action’s manner of defeat will form a larger part of the narrative.
Many factors might have been responsible for their demise, but funding is most critical.
FC Platinum is awash with cash. They have been renovating Mandava stadium, proposed to charter planes, bought Botswana striker Joel Mogorosi and their reputation locally is of buying the best players on the scene, yet they still fall short when it comes to, for example, Sudanese opposition.
Sudanese teams also have the money. They buy beyond their borders and rarely export players for profits.
Platinum, on the other hand, have not exported any of their best players, except Lincoln Zvasiya to Kaizer Chiefs. They have also not crossed borders for talent to bolster their local talent.
Only recently did they make an exception with the signing-on of attacker Mogorosi, and if they can use funds wisely to tap into talent on the continent,they may well climb up the continental ladder.
The way they have bought talent in the last two years gives the feeling they now have a good squad to compete on the continent.The addition of Soccer Star of the Year runner-up Allen Gahadzikwa whom they signed- from Motor Action may turn the tables in their favour.
Yet a 3-0 score line was so emphatic it showed a gulf between the two teams after Platinum passed their Champions League audition with flying colours by beating Swaziland’s Green Mambas 8-2 on aggregate.
But when serious business began in the first round against El Mereikh, ‘Kugona Kunenge Kudada’ (Platinum) were found wanting.
FC Platinum are still gelling as a team. They lacked experience in this competition; something that Dynamos have in abundance and Mereikh also possess.
Few expected Hwange to go far and they didn’t. But of the three teams that were booted out at this stage, Hwange deserve some applause after only crashing out on the away goals rule. Hwange were held to a one-all draw at home and fought to a nil-all draw in Sudan.
If Hwange were to be given a second chance under similar odds next year, the same players may pose a serious challenge.
Experience is very important at such competitions and it is through this that Dynamos beat Liga Desportivo Muculumana de Maputo.
The two matches against the four-year old Mozambican champions only making their second appearance in this competition were by no means a stroll in the park.
Muculumana were very good in the first leg and offered a tough challenge in the second. But it is in the first leg where the match was lost for the side which conceded twice at home.
Dynamos have Takesure Chinyama, a weapon that Zimbabwe’s three other representatives do not have.
The striker proved the difference, scoring three goals in the two matches that Dynamos played. Contributions by a resolute defence featuring George Magariro and Patson Jaure in the centre were also vital in the second leg, but Chinyama stole the thunder with his flashing strikes.
Motor Action’s campaign was doomed once they sold their best players Gahadzikwa and Ocean Mushure among others.
Despite the cash injection from diamond miners Mbada, the task was insurmountable for the rebuilding team.