TNM Super League defending champions, Kamuzu Barracks (KB), have downplayed their 1-0 pre-season away loss to Salima Select on Saturday.
Francis Msiyambiri scored the lone goal in the 80th minute at Salima Community Ground to hand KB their first defeat in four pre-season games.
But KB Head Coach, Billy Phambala, said people should not read too much into the result.
“It was a good game but I blame the officiating panel for the loss. They lacked basic knowledge of the game and they did not apply all the rules,” Phambala said.
The hosts outplayed the soldiers, but Phambala insisted that his side was focused on defending the championship next season.
“My team is intact and we are almost ready for the season. We know that many teams would come hard on us but we have a new plan for the season,” he added.
The soldiers have bolstered their squad with Nation Harazi, Chimwemwe Chisambi (from Silver Strikers), Gerald Mwanza (Dwangwa United) and Peter Mpulula (Azam Tigers).
KB won their first ever Super League championship after collecting 61 points.
But KB lost to Be Forward Wanderers 4-3 on post-match penalties in the Fisd Challenge Cup final.
In other pre-season games, Wanderers beat Lake Valley FC 3-0, courtesy of Precious Msosa’s brace and Ishmael Thindwa.
Last year’s runners-up, Nyasa Big Bullets, also defeated Nsanama FC by a similar margin with goals from Fischer Kondowe, Mussa Manyenje and Muhammad Sulumba.