Warriors’ talisman Khama Billiat saluted teammate Knox Mutizwa’s well executed free kick which gave Zimbabwe their lead against Somalia, before adding that it was the turning point for their quest to qualify for the next round of the World Cup qualifiers.
Billiat then scored the third goal which made sure the Warriors qualified ahead of Somalia.
Speaking to 263Chat from his hotel in the capital after the match, Billiat who himself squandered two glorious opportunities from the same or even better positions said, respect and believe in your teammates is always vital for the success for the team.
“When he came to me and said can I take this one, most of the players could not believe it. Everyone was looking forward that I was going to take the responsibility. But having wasted two chances from the same position or even better positions, I realized it was good to have confidence in my teammate and give him a chance to help the country qualify.
“I have watched Knox play in the previous encounters and even in South Africa, he has been at the top of his game and this persuaded me to give him the chance, and guess what, he took us to the Promised Land.
“His well-executed free kick was the turning point. After being denied scoring opportunities by a well-organized Somali defense, we started panicking, losing the ball and not risking the second ball where by one controls and slots, we could not settle the nerves at all.
“So after scoring and letting our opponents hit back, we were all down, but that goal by Knox was like a turning point. It rejuvenated everyone in the team as we all started believing that we can do it.
“And for sure, the little extra effort that we did put saw us getting the third goal, which I scored, and I thank my teammates for the effort,” said Billiat.
The Warriors attacker said they is still much that needs to be done in terms of combinations and turn the warriors into a “Mean Machine”.
“At times we rushed decisions. We need that cohesion that has been lacking so much.
Meanwhile a local fuel dealer pledged $50 000 towards the Warriors as reward for their qualification to the next stage of the competition.
Speaking to the Warriors in the dressing room soon after the match, a representative from the fuel company said the money was not meant for any Zifa business, but to motivate the players.