Dark days for Khama Billiat continues as he misses a sitter. With everyone expecting him to redeem himself against his former paymasters Mamelodi Sundowns and propel Kaizer Chiefs to a victory which would have virtually sealed the 2019/20 ABSA Premiership title, Khama Billiat was instead dropped to the bench for the crunch encounter.
Masandawana edged their title rivals 1-0 thanks to a Gaston Sirino first-half strike to move level on points with Ernst Middendorp’s charges; blowing wide open the title race in the process.
The elephant in the room as far as Zimbabweans are concerned was that Billiat was omitted from the starting eleven by the German, a clear testimony of the Warriors star’s current woes at Kaizer Chiefs.
Billiat was replaced at half time in the last game against Stellenbosch, in which his replacement, Zambian striker Lazarous Kambole, rescued a point for Amakhosi. South African football analyst Shakes Rampedi was not surprised by Middendorp’s decision to drop Billiat for a game of such magnitude.
“I have been singing this song for a while (that Billiat should be dropped). I have been saying it over and over, I felt he should be dropped because he hasn’t been affecting game the way he should,” Rampedi said in a video posted on Twitter just after the Chiefs line up was released.
“I feel he could do more in terms of hurting the opponent offensively and I think Middendorp has also realized,” he added. Billiat has scored just one goal in the current campaign, a shocking statistic for a player of his calibre and it appears his dark days are far from over.
Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp rued Khama Billiat’s late goal miss in the 1-0 loss against Mamelodi Sundowns on Thursday.
The forward, who came in as a substitute in the second half, fluffed a glorious chance to equalise by heading over the crossbar in added time. The miss followed a couple of wasted opportunity by the hosts earlier in the game.
Speaking to SuperSport TV after the game, Middendorp said his team should have scored in the game. “Before we went down to 1-0, we had two clear chances, one against the goalkeeper. We didn’t make it, we didn’t pick it up. Then we got caught on the counter,” he said.
“We changed the formation. Changed the set-up. Brought in players. I think in the second half it was 80-20 possession [to Chiefs]. We were consistently in their half. One mistake, one counter on the other side.
“We had possibilities in the second last minute, it was just a tap-in with a header [by Khama Billiat] and then it was going to be at least 1-1. We were more dynamic in the middle of the park in the second half.” Chiefs and Sundowns are now tied on 53 points with Amakhosi leading the table due to a superior goal difference.
Source – Soccer24
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