Zesco United started their 2017 league campaign on a positive note as they recorded a 2-0 victory over Konkola Blades in a rescheduled week one fixture played at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on Wednesday.
First half substitute Lazarus Kambole scored the only goal of the match in first half additional time, seven minutes after replacing Mwape Mwelwa.
Kambole headed in the opener at the far post to beat Blades goalkeeper Reagan Simango from a cross by Fackson Kapumbu.
The second goal arrived in the 74th minute when Idris Mbombo scored from a free header from another cross by Kapumbu.
Mbombo’s goal came two minutes after he had won a penalty which was missed by Jesse Were.
Krmpotic told supersport.com in a post match interview that he was happy to pick up maximum points but noted that the team’s game plan was affected by the withdrawal of John Chingandu and Kondwani Mtonga moments before kick-off.
“I am not satisfied with the way my team played but I am satisfied with the result. We played this game without two key players, Ching’andu and Kondwani; but maybe my team was affected by fatigue.
“Still the absence of two first team players was a chance for others to show what they can do. But it seems they did not take this opportunity.”
One of the players Krmpotic might have been referring to was Mwape Mwelwa who was replaced in the 38th minute by eventual goal scorer Kambole.
Meanwhile, Konkola Blades coach Enos Silwimba said that his team put up a good performance but that Zesco United capitalised on a weakness at the rightback.
“I am happy with the way we played. It is just that we conceded those two goals, otherwise our performance was good. We are going to work on how to defend set pieces, especially at the right back because that was how they scored the second goal,” said Silwimba.