Billiat saves Zimbabwe blushes as late goal sinks Somalia

Billiat saves Zimbabwe blushes as late goal sinks Somalia
Khama Billiat of Zimbabwe

by Nick Said

Tuesday Sep 10, 2019. 17:00

Khama Billiat struck a late winner to spare the blushes of Zimbabwe as they scraped to a 3-1 victory over lowly Somalia to advance to the pool stages of 2022 World Cup qualification on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe’s Qatar dreams seemed over when Abdullahi Mohamed equalised for 202-ranked Somalia with five minutes remaining, leaving the Warriors needing two goals to win the tie.

But first Admiral Muskwe saw his free-kick deflected in, and then deep into injury-time Billiat danced round his defender before firing into the corner of the net.

It saved Zimbabwe from what would have arguably been the lowest moment in their football history, but was a deserved win after they dominated the game and might have won by a far greater margin.

Trailing from a shock 1-0 loss in the first leg away, Zimbabwe spurned opportunity after opportunity before Marshall Munetsi levelled the tie with a spectacular over-head kick after a corner was not properly cleared by the Somalis.

It seemed inevitable they would take the win from there, but when defender Teenage Hadebe’s error left Mohamed through on goal, Somalia were back in the driving seat.

Zimbabwe kept plugging away though and showed admirable urgency, giving themselves a sniff when Muskwe’s goal-bound effort was headed past Ali Mursal Qalid in the Somalia goal by his own defender.

But the Somalis still had the upper hand until a break saw Billiat create some space for the shot with his left-foot and rifle the ball into the net.

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