Billiat rescues Zimbabwe again
Zimbabwe 3-1 Somalia
Khama Billiat once again underlined his worth in the Warriors set-up as his stoppage time stunner overturned a 1-0 first leg deficit against Somalia to send Zimbabwe to the next stage of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers with a 3-2 aggregate win.
Billiat arrived on the eve of the second leg to help his country advance to the next stage of the qualifiers, and did just that when all hope seemed lost, at the country’s giant home of football, The National Sports Stadium in Harare on Tuesday.
Having brought the tie level, with a brilliant overhead goal, France based midfielder Marshall Munetsi saw his effort being cancelled by Abduli Mohammed seven minutes from time, to send shivers down the spine of an expectant host nation.
Needing two goals in the remaining minutes, Knox Mutizwa calmed the nerves with a well taken free-kick in the 86th minute to give Zimbabwe a meaningful chance to save the tie requiring just a goal in the last minutes.
When the sun seemed to be setting on Zimbabwe in stoppage time, Billiat coated off another extraordinary show for the Warriors, entering the folklore as one of the country’s finest footballers of all time, running clear on the left before smashing the tie winner to the far top corner.
The home fans erupted, and players as well as the media coalesced around the Kaizer Chiefs star at the final whistle.
Billiat’s goal broke down the visiting Somalians who had put in a brave show and were just unfortunate not to see off their more experienced opponents.
Coach Joey Antipas’ men now await the draw of the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.
Antipas will assemble a team again in a fortnight for the Chan qualifiers where they will face Lesotho next.