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Billiat’s Last Gasp Screamer Saves Zim’s World Cup Dreams

Kaizer Chiefs striker Khama Billiat was the hero of the match as he scored a late winner against Somalia to revive Zimbabwe’s hopes of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Kaizer Chiefs striker Khama Billiat was the hero of the match as he scored a late winner against Somalia to revive Zimbabwe’s hopes of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The match kicked off at National Stadium, and the venue witnessed a poor turn out as the “high” ticket prices made fans shy away.

Zimbabwe left it very late to secure a 3-1 win over visiting Somalia in their World Cup preliminary round qualifier in Harare on Tuesday.

The Warriors were left stunned last week after suffering a 1-0 defeat to Africa’s lowest-ranked nation in Somalia on Thursday last week and needed a massive improvement at home to make to the next stage of the competition.

Zimbabwe dictated the first 15 minutes of the game with a wonderful string of passes that were sourced from midfield, courtesy of Alex Mudimu who set up South Africa based striker Khama Billiat early on, but his effort did not trouble the visitors.

The Warriors dominated the match but Somalia proved to be difficult as they had a well-organised defence that committed few mistakes to ensure the scoreline was a goalless draw when they went into the break.

The second half saw coach Joey Antipas make the first substitution as Golden Arrows striker Knox Mutizwa came on for Augusto in the 53rd minute.

Warriors started to pile pressure on Somalia to win three corners in succession but this had no effect as the Ocean Stars backline stood strong against the opposition.

Another great move in the 69th minute forced the Somalia keeper Omar Mohammed to put his best show to block Ovidy Kalulu’s riveting shot.

The breakthrough eventually arrived in the 77th minute, with former Orlando Pirates defender Marshal Munetsi finding the back of the net to level to the score on aggregate.

As Zimbabwe were piling pressure on Somalia, Teenage Hadebe failed in his bid to clear a long ball forward from a counter-attack. Omar Mohammed comfortably beat Divine Lunga to make it 2-1 on aggregate.

Somalia’s joy was short-lived as Warriors converted a free-kick through Kox Mutizwa in the 86th minute while off a counter, Billiat sent a rocket of a shot into the top left corner of the Somali goal, securing a 3-2 aggregate victory for Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, Malawi also progressed to the group stages after beating Botswana 1-0, courtesy of a Gerald Phiri strike.

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