Kaizer Chiefs star Khama Billiat grabbed two goals as Zimbabwe defeated Zambia 2-1 during an AFCON 2021 Qualifier in Lusaka this evening.
Zambia’s loss follows after taking a 5-0 beating from Algeria in the first match of the campaign - while Zimbabwe played to a goalless draw with Botswana.
Justin Shonga created the first dangerous action of the first stanza but his cross did not meet any Chipolopolo shirt. Zimbabwe soon got into the game to win two set-piece corners inside 10 minutes.
Billiat broke the deadlock with a clinical header, thanks to a Knowledge Musona corner kick on 11 minutes. Zambia nearly struck an immediate equalizer but Augustine Mulenga’s shot flew inches wide. Zambia’s Patson Daka almost scored too but goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze was having a superb evening.
It was 1-1 on 20 minutes. Zambia’s Daka, from an acute angle, stuck one into the top left corner past Chipezeze.
Chipolopolo’s tails were up as they forced two consecutive clearances from Warriors' twin central defenders Alec Mudimu and Teenage Hadebe. The half-time break came to the relief of Zimbabwe’s defence.
Zambia came from the interval playing truly like the home side and the team who had lost on matchday one. Warriors were pinned back into their own half and counter attacks were hard to come by yet Zambia failed to fully penetrate Zimbabwe’s guard.
It was then 79th minute and Billiat was on hand to score his brace. Combining with Musona again, Billiat tapped in a perfect Musona square ball. The Warriors held on tightly until they heard the final whistle and sank to their knees to point to the heavens for the win.
The win meant Zimbabwe take second place behind Algeria in Group H while Botswana and Zambia sit on third & fourth respectively.
How the teams line-up:
Zambia: M. Chibwe, D. Malama, L. Chungu, K. Chongo, T. Mwape, N. Sinkala, E. Mwepu, E. Kangwa, A. Mulenga, P. Daka, J. Shonga.
Zimbabwe: E. Chipezeze, R. Pfumbidzai, T. Hadebe, I. Nekati, A. Mudimu, M. Nakamba, M. Munetsi, K. Billiat, O. Karuru, K. Mahachi, K. Musona.