South Africa: Billiat Remains Under Pressure

(File photo).
14 August 2020

The return of the South African Premiership this week should give Zimbabwe international forward, Khama Billiat, a platform to salvage a season in which he hasn't fired to expectations.

The Warriors star, who is the league's highest paid player, has largely been quiet in the last two seasons he has been with Kaizer Chiefs.

It's in sharp contrast to his highly successful stay at Mamelodi Sundowns' a club he helped win three league titles' the CAF Champions League and CAF Super Cup.

They also won the Telkom Cup and the Nedbank Cup between 2013 and 2017.

His value increased when he was voted the Premiership Player of the Season, Players' Player of the Season and Midfielder of the Season in 2016.

But, since the move to Amakhosi, the fans are still to see the magic he used to display at the Brazilians.

He featured in 26 Absa Premiership games, in his debut season for Chiefs, scored five goals and made six assists.

The Amakhosi finished a disappointing ninth in the race.

The previous season, his last with Sundowns, he had played 16 games and scored eight goals with six assists to his name.

They won the league championship.

However, injuries have also blighted Billiat's adventure at the Amakhosi.

The Warriors talisman has spent close to 74 days, nursing injuries, and was not available for selection for eight games while he played cameos in others.

"It is difficult, to be honest -- it's emotional. You try by all means to take it positively because there's no other way you get to contribute while sitting at home," he told the South African media.

"So, you try by all means to talk to the guys.

"It's not easy, you end up feeling like it is okay, yet you have a duration of time you have to be out for certain reasons."

He played 14 of the club's 24 league matches and has contributed only one goal.

Chiefs are still in control of their destiny in the title race after taking a four-point cushion before the games were stopped due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Billiat was in the mix of things, when the Soweto giants resumed their campaign on Wednesday, in a 1-1 draw against Bidvest Wits.

He had a good chance to double their lead, in the first half, when he raced clear on goal but delayed to pull the trigger.

Billiat ended up passing responsibility to a teammate and the chance was lost.

SuperSport TV pundit, Jabu Mahlangu, said he was certain a confident Billiat would have chipped the ball over the goalkeeper.

However, noted Mahlangu, the Warriors talisman was still battling a confidence crisis.

The Zimbabwean star also had a good chance, in the second half, but skied his effort over the bar.

Chiefs still lead nearest rivals Sundowns by four points.

However, Mosimane's men have a game in hand.

While the jury is still out, the ball is now in Billiat's court to find his magical touch.

Kaizer Chiefs, who are under the leadership of former Warriors skipper, Willard Katsande, remain favourites for the league championship.

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