Be Forward Wanderers were given food for thought after suffering a 1-0 loss to Zimbabwe’s Chicken Inn during the Energem International Bonanza at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre Friday.
This was a side they defeated by similar score-line last season on their way to runners-up finish.
Wanderers handed debut to former Masters Security forward Juma Yatima but they fell behind after goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa spilled what looked like a harmless cross to allow Malvin Gaki to score the only goal in the 32nd minute.
In the second half, Wanderers were given huge boost after Obriel Chirinda was red-carded for second bookable offence but the home side still failed to use its numerical advantage to frustrate the visitors.
Chicken Inn Coach, Joey Antipas, said they were not after the results.
“We are assessing our players because we have some new ones,” he said.
Wanderers Head Coach, Bob Mpinganjira, echoed similar statements saying they were assessing the squad.
“We are not after the result. We want to assess the players and overall performance to see how best to improve the team before the start of the season,” he said.
In another match, hosts Nyasa Big Bullets started their campaign strongly after sweating to defeat UD Songo of Mozambique 1-0.
Songo featured two players from Malawi Christopher John Banda and Schumacher Kuwali.
Left-back Precious Sambani headed home a corner-kick from substitute Righteous Banda to give Bullets the lead in the 63rd minute.
In the second half, Bullets also introduced former Wanderers striker Zicco Mkanda who was released following the expiry of his contract.
Bullets Assistant Coach, Peter Mponda, said winning was a bonus as their main focus was on improving the performance of the team.
“We are not after the winning games as we want to improve our team,” he said.
Action will continue this afternoon with Wanderers dating Songo in first match before Bullets entertain Chicken Inn.
The three-day competition will end tomorrow with visitors, Songo and Chicken Inn clashing in the first match while Bullets and Wanderers will close the stage.