Khama Billiat Shines In His First Soweto Derby
Zimbabwean soccer star Khama Billiat was on target in his debut Soweto Derby against Orlando Pirates on Saturday, which eventually ended in a 2-1 victory for the Pirates.
Talented Billiat put a fired up Kaizer Chiefs ahead in the 15th-minute of the Absa Premiership match in front of more than 90 000 spectators at a packed, heaving FNB Stadium. Nevertheless, his early strike was not good enough to help seal the deal for Amakhosi as the Bucs rallied back to win the encounter 2-1.
The Warriors star forward together with fellow forward Leonardo Castro, had been doubtful starters ahead of the biggest and most anticipated fixture in the South African Premiership, but Billiat and his former Mamelodi Sundowns teammate were thrown straight into the starting side after being declared fit to play.
It did not take long before the Zimbabwean international opened the scoring, making an impact when he tapped home after only 15 minutes.
However, the Buccaneers came back with a flamethrower via Innocent Maela and Vincent Pule’s 29th and 32nd-minute strikes.
Despite Kaizer Chiefs taking a hard knock in the first half, Billiat was evidently a big threat in the Pirates defensive half as he shined all the way. Unfortunately, the 28-year-old could not add to his tally as the Glamour Boys failed to break a four-year-old Soweto Derby jinx against the Pirates.
Billiat was later substituted only 13 minutes before time but he still received some much-deserved praise from his coach Giovanni Solinas, who described him as an important component of the team.
“I am sorry to the supporters. I am sorry to the team following this loss to our rivals. We wanted to win the match and we really needed the three points as well as the bragging rights.
“We were in the game and we created some scoring chances which we could not make full use of. We picked up some positives but it’s always very painful to lose this derby. We are really sorry to the fans.
“We know what the Soweto Derby means to every Kaizer Chiefs fan. It’s unfortunate, we failed to deliver. We are sorry, he said.”
“Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro had to be immediately drafted into the first eleven after confirmed fit as they are two key players for Kaizer Chiefs.
“Both players did well with Khama scoring the goal which was supposed to give us a shift. He is one man who can decide a match. He did well on his Soweto Derby debut and he is one of the best in the ABSA Premiership,” Solinas said.